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Nation

DENR to sue councilor for 'stealing' own motorboat

- Michelle Zoleta -

LUCENA CITY, Philippines  – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will file criminal and administrative charges against a municipal councilor of Mauban town for “stealing” his own motorboat, which was earlier seized by the Navy for transporting undocumented lumber.

DENR-Calabarzon Regional Executive Director Nilo Tamoria said the department’s legal office is preparing charges against Rodante Almacen, a councilor under Lakas- Kampi and a political ally of Mauban Mayor Ferdinand Llamas.

Tamoria said a Navy patrol intercepted the boat that was loaded with 482 pieces of Lauaan lumber at Lamon Bay off Infanta, Quezon last Aug. 22.

He said the boat and the illegal cargo were turned over to Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Real for safe keeping pending the filing of charges against the offenders.

Forester Wilfredo Riña, DENR-Calabarzon’s chief of forest resources conservation division, said Almacen arrived and claimed ownership of the boat. He said Almacen requested the CENRO personnel that the boat be brought to Mauban and be placed under his custody, but the environment officers rejected his request.

Riña and other CENRO personnel inspected the boat on Sept. 1 but the vessel was already missing. He said Almacen reportedly took the boat at around 11 a.m. on Aug. 31, telling the boat’s custodian the case had been settled at the DENR.

Riña and his group proceeded to Mauban to look for the boat but they failed to find the vessel.

Almacen denied the report that he stole the boat from its custodian. He said he told another person to check up on the boat and “he was the one who took it, not me.”

Almacen said he did not hide the boat as earlier reported, but just put it in a safer place.

Almacen also clarified that he did not know that the boat was transporting lumber. He said he sent some people to fetch something from Infanta, and “I did not know that when they returned, they brought lumber with them.”

ALMACEN

BOAT

CALABARZON REGIONAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NILO TAMORIA

COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES OFFICE

DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES

FORESTER WILFREDO RI

LAMON BAY

MAUBAN

MAUBAN MAYOR FERDINAND LLAMAS

RI

RODANTE ALMACEN

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