BUTUAN CITY – A joint operation of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Caraga Police Regional Office 13 (PRO 13) seized around P45,000-worth of illegally-cut lumbers during anti-illegal logging operation in Barangay Tagbuyacan, Santiago, Agusan del Norte province, PRO 13 and DENR reported on Monday.
PRO 13 and DENR anti-illegal logging task force also seized sawmill equipment and ordered padlocked a mini-sawmilling plant in that same barangay and town.
DENR 13 Regional Executive Director (RED) Hadja Didaw D. Piang-Brahim commended the anti-illegal logging task force, particularly the police, for the successful operation in Barangay Tagbuyacan.
The operation was carried out by the DENR Caraga Region 13, Santiago Municipal Police Station (MPS) 15th PNP Special Action Company, and Second Agusan del Norte Provincial Mobile Force Company around 5:15 p.m. on Saturday, July 4.
The operatives swooped down at the targeted area after the suspect was caught in the act of engaging in illegal logging activity.
Upon verification, the suspect could not show the required documents to prove the legality of his business operation.
Identity of the suspect was temporarily withheld pending the arrest of some companions in the operation.
The suspect will be charged with the violation of RA 460 (an act regulating the operation of sawmills) and PD 705 (the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines) which also cited the cutting, gathering and /or collecting timber or other forest products without license and permits, police said.
PRO13 Regional Director Brig. Gen. Joselito T. Esquivel, Jr. told The Manila Bulletin on Monday that the police force steps up the campaign to go after and arrest those persons involved in illegal logging activities amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Our support of forest protection and environment preservation is also ongoing despite of the COVID-19 crisis,” the region’s top cop added.