Cops nab 4, seize illegal coco lumber in Quezon
LUCENA CITY—Police arrested four persons attempting to transport illegally cut coconut lumber worth P50,000 at a checkpoint in Candelaria town in Quezon province on Tuesday, a report said Wednesday.
The Candelaria police reported that cops flagged down at 11:45 p.m. Tuesday an Isuzu Elf truck loaded with freshly sawn coconut lumber totaling around 5,000 board feet (11.7 cubic meters) at a checkpoint along the Maharlika Highway in Barangay Mangilag Sur.
Truck driver Gary Zarzuelo and helpers Allan Solina, Diego Abesamis, and Richard Bolfane had no permit from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) to cut and transport the lumber, the report said.
The authorities impounded the vehicle and the lumber to be taken to the PCA office in Lucena City for proper disposition.
The suspects were detained at the local police jail.
The Coconut Preservation Act of 1995 prohibits the cutting of coconut trees unless the local PCA permits it.
The law allows cutting when the tree is “severely disease-infested and beyond rehabilitation” or “severely damaged” by typhoons or lightning. But this requires a permit from the PCA.
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