Forest ranger shot dead
MANILA, Philippines — Another environmental worker was attacked and killed over the weekend, prompting Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu to call anew for the speedy passage of a measure creating an enforcement bureau within the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to address environmental crimes, such as illegal logging and wildlife trafficking.
Cimatu said forest ranger Ronaldo Corpuz, who was assigned to the community environment and natural resources office in the municipality of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, became the third environmental worker killed this year.
Corpuz was shot multiple times by an unidentified gunman on Oct. 25 as he was closing the gate of his house. He was rushed to a hospital in Cabanatuan City, where he underwent surgery, but died two days later.
“[These] senseless attacks against forest defenders must come to an end,” Cimatu said in a statement on Tuesday.
Three days before the attack, Corpuz, along with other members of Bantay Gubat, had seized 26 pieces of yemane lumber used in construction and carpentry work from three individuals in Rizal town. The suspects were later charged with violation of the forestry code.
Two other state environmental workers were killed in separate attacks this year.
On Sept. 11, Gaudencio Arana, a DENR informant also assigned in Muñoz, was shot dead by two men on a motorcycle.
On Sept. 4, suspected illegal loggers hacked to death Bienvinido Veguilla Jr. in the jungles of Palawan province after his team seized the chainsaw they used. Five of the six suspects were arrested and charged with murder.
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