DENR forest ranger hacked dead in Palawan
MANILA, Philippines — A forest ranger of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) was hacked dead by suspected illegal loggers in El Nido, Palawan, police said on Thursday.
Police identified the 44-year-old victim as Bienvenido Severino Veguilla Jr., while the suspects were identified as Cardo Fulgencio, Glen Fulgencio, Fernan Flores, and three John Does.
According to a report from the El Nido Municipal Police, the victim and five other rangers were patrolling Sitio Kinagawan in Barangay Pasadeña when they received information on alleged illegal logging activities in the vicinity at about 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
Acting on the tip, the team proceeded to the area to verify the report and allegedly saw Cardo Fulgencio cutting down timber with a chainsaw. The suspects then immediately fled on seeing the rangers and left the chainsaw they were using.
Police said the rangers then seized the chainsaw and was about to go back to their office in the area when the suspects, who are now armed with bolos and a homemade shotgun, returned and blocked their way.
Police said Veguilla was cornered by the three identified suspects while their three other companions positioned themselves near the crime scene. According to police, Flores then hacked the victim, who was able to shoot the suspects with his service firearm.
Responding police officers managed to arrest Flores who sustained a gunshot wound. He was brought to the Palawan Northern District Hospital in Taytay, Palawan to undergo treatment.
Meanwhile, Cardo Fulgencio, Glen Fulgencio and the three John Does, eluded arrest.
Police are now documenting the evidence gathered for the filing of cases against the suspects. /muf