Armed men take van loaded with seized hot lumber from Sierra Madre | Inquirer News

Armed men take van loaded with seized hot lumber from Sierra Madre

By: - Correspondent / @dtmallarijrINQ
/ 03:22 PM September 25, 2019

LUCENA CITY — Armed men took a van loaded with illegally cut forest products, earlier confiscated by police and forest rangers, in Infanta town in Quezon province early Wednesday.

Rexmel Telan, forest ranger assigned at the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office based in Real town, said a jeep with armed men seized the van in Sitio Kamagong in Barangay Magsaysay around 2 a.m.

He said the van was loaded with illegally cut hardwood species from the northern Quezon section of the Sierra Madre mountain ranges.


“The armed men took back the van from two unarmed forest rangers as the police and other DENR men were busy running after another van of hot lumber,” Telan told the Inquirer in a phone interview.


He said the armed men successfully took the van loaded with contrabands, while the government forces running after the other van, also overran the escaping illegal loggers.

Telan said the incident once more proved that unarmed forest rangers were always left vulnerable to illegal loggers and their armed guards.

“The job is getting risky. Our enemies are getting bold and violent,” Telan, a veteran forest ranger, said.

He said his group was busy conducting anti-illegal logging operations in Barangay Dinahican also in Infanta during that time.

According to him, they also recovered volumes of illegally cut forest products hidden in mangrove areas in the village.

Illegal logging syndicates in Sierra Madre employ armed men for protection, according to indigenous Agta tribesmen.


“We have to be doubly careful whenever we conduct operations,” Telan said.

He renewed his call for the government to allow forest rangers to have firearms during operations.

“Forest rangers need firearms to protect ourselves,” he stressed.

Telan disclosed that he has been receiving threats from illegal loggers.

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The northern Quezon section of the Sierra Madre is considered a hot spot for illegal logging operations./lzb

TAGS: hot lumber, Local news, Sierra Madre

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