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PRO-8 confiscates illegal lumber, logging and fishing equipment

PALO, LEYTE, Philippines — Over the past four days, at least 11,000 board feet of freshly cut lawaan lumber, 12 chainsaws, fishing paraphernalia and a boat allegedly used in illegal fishing have been confiscated during simultaneous police operations in at least four towns in Eastern Visayas.

Police Regional Office-8 Director, Chief Superintendent Gilberto Cruz, presented to the media the seized items by police operatives, who he ordered to enforce environmental laws and arrest the perpetrators, within the week.

Cruz said the illegally cut lumber and the logging and fishing equipment were seized during crackdown on illegal logging and fishing in the towns of Dagami, MacArthur, and Abuyog in Leyte, and in Marabut town of Eastern Samar. At least six suspects were also arrested with cases already filed against them.

Cruz told reporters that the operations were part of the PRO-8’s active enforcement of all forms of illegal activities, and criminalities.

"This is just a continuation of the PNP's campaign against environmental laws. Dapat lang na magtrabaho kaming mga police. At least sa umpisa nitong pag-upo ko may napigilan na kaming illegal na gawain kahit papaano. One more thing, kung hindi natin kumpiskahin ang mga chainsaws at mga fishing nets na ito, ang daming masisira pa na corals at isda, at mapuputol nga mga kahoy,” Cruz said.

The PRO-8 top official reassured the public that the police will always have a good coordination with the Bureau of Fisheries and Acquatic Resources, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in enforcing environmental laws in the region.

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Meanwhile, Cruz also vowed to check reports of illegal poaching activities, allegedly committed by a mayor of a town in Leyte. He declared that he would order an investigation to find out the veracity of this reported illegal activities of the mayor. "Papatingnan natin ito, and get the true story of this reports,” he said. (FREEMAN)

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