Police seize truckload of ‘hot’ coco lumber in Quezon; 4 nabbed
LUCENA CITY — Police seized a truck loaded with illegally cut coconut lumber in Tayabas City in Quezon province on Saturday night, police said Sunday.
In a report, Tayabas police said a concerned citizen tipped them off about hot coco lumber being transported aboard a ten-wheeler truck.
Authorities spotted the said truck and flagged it down for inspection in Barangay (village) Lakawan around 8:30 p.m.
Police found the vehicle loaded with sawn coconut lumber measuring 6,000 board feet (14.15 cubic meters). Report did not state the estimated worth of the seized hot lumber in the underground market.
The report said truck driver Andy Villazon and his passengers Basilio Encina, Joseph Mediavilla, and Prince Ojo failed to show a permit from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) giving them authority to cut and transport the coconut lumber.
Under the Coconut Preservation Act of 1995, cutting coconut trees and transporting coconut lumber are prohibited unless permitted by the local PCA office.
This prompted the authorities to confiscate the hot lumber and the vehicle.
This anti-illegal coconut lumber operation by the authorities was the third this week.
On May 31, police also intercepted a truck filled with about P126,000 worth of illegally cut coconut lumber in Catanauan town. Three suspects were arrested.
On June 3, authorities also confiscated a truckload of hot coco lumber worth P180,000 in General Luna town and nabbed two suspects.