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Naga tree-cutting halted after protesters climb trees

Jean Demecillo (The Freeman) - August 8, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The cutting of two more trees in Barangay Inoburan Naga City was ordered stopped last night after two men each climbed a tree in protest of its cutting down.

The two men climbed the trees and lashed themselves to the trunks around 9 p.m. just as Department of Public Works and Highways crews were about to start cutting down the trees.

One of them was identified as Dondon Dimas of the Inter Mountaineering Society, while the other was Inoburan resident Lito Labore who lived just nearby.

Naga City City Councilor Carmelino Cruz Jr. said they ordered a halt to the cutting last night because they did not want to endanger the lives of the two men. He could not say when the city will order the resumption of the cutting.

In all, ten members of the Inter Mountaineering Society where there to protest the cutting of the trees but only Dimas climbed a tree to actively prevent DPWH crews from cutting it down.

Labore vowed not to leave the tree until DPWH crews left it alone.

“Dili gyud mi mohawa bisan kanus-a pa kon dili sila mopasalig kay sa luyo gani sa among balay wala na’y kahoy. Kaning mga kahoya na lang ang nabilin namo,” he said.

 Members of Movement for Livable Cebu also went to Inoburan, but they said they were not there to stop to cutting of the trees but rather to document how they were being cut.

However, MLC convenor Louella Alix questioned how the DPWH could tell that the trees were sick and said they should have waited for tree experts to check the trees themselves.

She also showed a note allegedly from DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson that read: “Let’s not widen the roads in Carcar even if we get LGU or DENR clearance. Let’s not cut trees anymore for widening. Let’s just improve shoulder and put loading bays and flaring of intersections.”

Two trees were set to be cut, while another was set to be pruned last night, however only one of the trees to be cut was pruned before the two men lashed themselves to the trees.

The PNP fielded 30 policemen to keep peace and handle traffic around the area, said Superintendent Brindo Nacario, but aside from the climbing of the trees there was no trouble to settle.

The DPWH heavy equipment and crews were pulled out as of 10:20 p.m. as a result of the aborted operation.

DPWH second district Engineer Nicomedes Leonor said they might file charges against the two who climbed the trees and disrupted their operations as the cutting of the trees was legal.  —/BRP (FREEMAN)

 

 

BARANGAY INOBURAN NAGA CITY CUTTING DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS DONDON DIMAS OF THE INTER MOUNTAINEERING SOCIETY ENGINEER NICOMEDES LEONOR INOBURAN INTER MOUNTAINEERING SOCIETY LITO LABORE LIVABLE CEBU TREES
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