3 arrested for illegal coconut logging; hot lumber seized
LUCENA CITY, Philippines – Police arrested three suspected illegal coconut loggers and seized P62,000 in undocumented lumber in Quezon province Saturday, a report said.
Senior Supt. Osmundo de Guzman, Quezon police director, in a report said operatives caught siblings Larry and Nestor Otico while sawing felled coconut trees in Barangay (village) Bolo in Catanauan town at about 2 p.m.
Authorities seized from the suspects two chainsaws and 2,445 board feet of illegally cut coconut lumber worth P26,895 in the underground market.
Later, police nabbed Benjamin Ramos who was also caught while cutting of coconut trees in another part of the village.
Ramos yielded a chainsaw and 173 board feet of coconut lumber worth P1,900.
The arrested suspects failed to produce documents from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) giving them the authority to cut coconut trees.
In General Luna town, policemen seized a pile of abandoned 213 flitches of illegally cut coconut lumber in Barangay San Isidro Ilaya at about 11 a.m.
The confiscated illegal coconut lumber measuring 1,874 board feet worth P37,480 are in the custody of Mauban police and will be turned over to the PCA for disposition.
Republic Act No. 8048, or the Coconut Preservation Act of 1995, prohibits the cutting of coconut trees unless a permit is secured at the local PCA office. /cbb
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