Environmentalists lose case to save 259 trees in Pampanga | Inquirer News

Environmentalists lose case to save 259 trees in Pampanga

/ 05:00 AM February 03, 2021

Trimming helped 259 trees rejuvenate along Fil-Am Friendship Road in Bacolor-Angeles boundary in Pampanga but a recent court order would pave the way for cutting these trees. (PHOTO BY TONETTE OREJAS)

ANGELES CITY—A court here has dissolved the temporary environmental protection order (Tepo) that saved 259 trees for almost a year from being cut by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the widening of a road leading to Clark Freeport.

Judge Maria Angelica Paras-Quimbao of the Regional Trial Court Third Judicial Region Branch 59 also denied the motion of leaders of the Save the Trees Coalition (STC) for a permanent injunction in the special civil action.


Permits valid

Quiambao’s 88-page decision, dated Jan. 4, was received by STC on Feb. 2, according to one of the plaintiffs, Dina Zulueta. STC is appealing the case, she said in a phone interview.


While the group prevented the cutting of 486 trees from Barangay Sto. Domingo in Angeles City to Barangay Mabiga in Mabalacat City in 2012, they lost in the court this time due to technical issues raised by the DPWH.

The judge found the road-widening projects’ environmental clearance certificate and two tree cutting permits to be valid.

According to Quiambao, the plaintiffs failed to prove there was no public hearing and that the DPWH violated the conditions of the tree cutting permit.

“The plaintiffs failed to rebut the defendants’ position that the plaintiffs are not going to suffer grave and irreparable injury if the court will allow the cutting of the 259 trees,” the decision read.

“Their (plaintiffs) questions as to the validity and effectiveness of the different laws and regulations being followed by the DPWH and DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) in implementing the road-widening project are beyond the scope of a social civil action with a prayer for Tepo,” it said. —TONETTE OREJAS

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TAGS: Pampanga, trees

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