By Jeffrey Damicog
The Department of Justice (DOJ) charged a man for violating environmental laws after being caught by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) of trying to ship 21 container vans of illegally cut coconut logs.
NBI Director Dante Gierran identified the suspect as Rex Mesa who was the consignee of the container vans. Mesa has been charged with violating Republic Act 8048 (Coconut Preservation Act of 1995), as amended by RA 10593 in relation to Section 37(a) and (e) of the Philippine Coconut Administrative Order No. 03 Series of 2018.
Gierran said Mesa was arrested by the NBI’s Environmental Crime Division (NBI-EnCD) last August 16 at the Manila Port Area when he came to claim the shipment. He said the large shipment arrived at Pier 16 of the Manila North Harbor last August 12 and found that Mesa was the consignee.
After the NBI confirmed the arrival of the shipment, the agency sought coordination with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) to apprehend Mesa. Gierran said Mesa presented transshipment clearances that are expired or recycled.
The NBI also seized the 21 container vans with 138,261 board feet of coconut lumber bound for Manila and Cebu.
The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) also confirmed that Mesa is not a registered coconut lumber trader and has not secured a consolidation permit for the transport of coconut lumber.