Authorities find timber-poaching in Zamboanga del Sur protected area
SAN MIGUEL, Zamboanga del Sur — Authorities on Saturday busted a timber-poaching operation in the surroundings of Mt. Timolan here, supposedly a protected area under existing environment laws.
Piles of timbers awaiting transport and newly cut trees greeted environment officials, Army personnel, and operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Barangay Dumalian when they raided the area.
But those involved in the poaching of trees were no longer around.
More than a thousand board feet of timber and another 2,000 board feet of round logs were seized, all of lawaan and yakal species.
Authorities also found old stumps, indicating previous tree-cutting activities in the area.
The timber-poaching operation was located two kilometers from the barangay center, and well within the delineated area of the Mt. Timolan Protected Landscape, which was declared through Presidential Proclamation No. 354 signed on August 14, 2000.
Ben Acana, provincial environment and natural resources officer, told the Inquirer they received information about the tree-cutting activities inside the Mt. Timolan area, hence the conduct of Saturday’s raid.
NBI Pagadian District Office Chief Israel Ivan Peralta said they will conduct further investigation to determine the personalities behind the illegal operation. /je
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