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Cebu prosecutor dismisses complaint vs companies over tree-cutting

/ 02:38 PM January 21, 2016

CEBU CITY–For lack of sufficient evidence, the Toledo City Prosecutor’s Office has ordered the dismissal of the complaint filed against companies for cutting down 900 trees to pave the way for a solar power project in Barangay Talavera, Toledo, about 50 km west of this city.

City Prosecutor Raul Cesar Bajarias said in a five-page resolution that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) failed to identify in their complaint the persons responsible for the cutting of the trees.

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“A complainant that fails to mention how a particular crime was committed has the effect disregarding and depriving the rights of the respondents to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against them. For a complaint to be sufficient, it must contain specific allegation necessary to constitute the crime charged,” said the Jan. 11 resolution.

READ: Gov allowed to file suit to stop tree-cutting
Bajarias said that DENR even failed to identify who ordered the cutting of the trees.

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“These points were not properly addressed in the complaint,” it added.

DENR earlier filed charges against the officials of Santa Clara International Corp., First Toledo Solar Energy Corp. and lot owner Gino Baltao for cutting down 900 trees without a permit from the environment agency.

DENR spokesperson Eddie Llamedo said they are now preparing a motion to seek recondition of Bajarias’ order.

He said Isabelo Montejo, DENR Central Visayas director, ordered lawyer Fernando Albera, head of their legal division, “to exhaust all the legal processes available to them to pursue and assert our case.”

“We will not be swayed by this development and work instead for the sake of our environment and natural resources,” Llamedo said.

READ: SC stops cutting of trees in Baguio

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TAGS: cutting, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Toledo City Prosecutor's Office, tree
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