Probe ordered on illegal businesses at Masungi

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has been ordered to investigate illegal business establishments at the Masungi Georeserve in Rizal province allegedly owned by active and retired police officers and local officials.

The order was issued by Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos following an attempt last week by a group of armed men to invade Masungi, which has been classified as a “protected area.”

“Elected government officials and police officers are bound by their mandate to protect the environment. They should set a good example to our fellow citizens and be part of the solution, not the other way around. We should protect Masungi and not destroy it,” Abalos said yesterday.

Administrators of the Masungi Georeserve said the armed men camped out for a week along the Marikina-Infanta Highway portion of the conservation site. They said the men left the area only on Friday.

“Those who are aiming to put up businesses and some illegal structures inside Masungi, I am warning you to stop it since this is not allowed under the law,” Abalos said.

The PNP was also ordered to establish a permanent encampment in the area to prevent people claiming to have title to the property from entering Masungi.

“We have to protect Masungi and the people working and looking after it. They are doing their job and we have to do our part to ensure this,” Abalos said.



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