Forester’s slay in Sultan Kudarat hit

By Ali Macabalang

KIDAPAWAN CITY – Offi­cials of the Department and Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) have condemned the killing of an environ­mental law enforcer in Sultan Kudarat, and demanded speedy justice.

In a statement it released, the Kor­onadal City-based DENR Region 12 office described the killing of Kandatu A. Bansil, forester of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Tacurong City as a “loss” in the envi­ronmental protection campaign.

Bansil, 51, was shot dead by a gun­man last Feb. 21 in Lambayong town.

DENR Assistant Secretary for Field Operations in Western Mindanao Jim Sampulna visited the forester’s family and conveyed the assurance of Secre­tary Roy Cimatu of assistance for the bereaved relatives.

Sampulna was quoted as saying that Cimatu was “very concerned” over the security of DENR law enforcers as the department steps up its campaign against violators of environmental laws.

“Forester Bansil (was) serious in the campaign… to enforce environmen­tal laws and to go against violators,” said CENRO Saga Akmad, his immedi­ate supervisor.

Akmad reportedly lamented that “the result of police investigation is not yet officially disclosed after more than a week since Bansil’s death.”

DENR 12 Regional Executive Direc­tor Nilo B. Tamoria appealed to investi­gation agencies to help crack the case.

“The work of a forester is not an easy task. It is somehow associated with risk especially when they are as­signed in the field and armed only with their desire of combating illegal logging activities,” Tamoria said.

Tamoria said they took partial relief in Cimatu’s assurance of improved protection for foresters.

Bansil covered areas surrounding Sultan Kudarat’s portion of the Daguma Range, one of the largest forested areas in Mindanao, where illegal logging op­erations are reportedly rampant.