The Masungi Georeserve conservation organization reported late Saturday night, July 24, the shooting of two of its forest rangers at their reforestation site in Sitio San Roque, Barangay Pinugay, Baras, Rizal.
A Facebook post from the non-profit environmental conservation group said the attack took place at around 9 p.m. Saturday.
The victims weren’t identified but photos of them on their respective hospital beds were shared on the post.
“One ranger was shot in the head and the other was shot in the neck. They are now being treated with first aid and are preparing transfer to another hospital,” the organization said.
“We are devastated and enraged by this heinous act of violence and attempted murder against forest defenders. We are calling for justice and protection for our team who risk their lives to defend our watersheds and forests 24/7,” it said.
The organization noted that it had been receiving “various threats, intimidations, and harassments from disgruntled violators” for the past few months. They said they have reported these to concerned authorities.
“We are disturbed that this atrocity could happen in an area where a Special Action Forces station is just around the corner,” it said.
“We beg for immediate security assistance and action against land grabbers, professional quatters, and illegal encroachers inside the Upper Marikina Watershed,” it further said.
It was only last month when the environmental protectors discovered blatant tree-cutting in the critical watershed during an on-the-ground inspection. They noted the presence of “suspicious people” in the area.
“The GSB resort and entities illegally occupying forest land were recently closed or were recommended to be filed charges against by government, following our reports about illegal activities,” the organization said.