Four face illegal tree cutting raps
Mylen P. Manto (The Freeman) - August 31, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Four people from Tabuelan town are facing criminal complaints before the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor’s Office for alleged illegal cutting of trees.

Silvestre Momo, Benjamin Bravo, Verdan Bravo, and Romulo Alcotibo, all residents of Tabuelan, Cebu, were accused of violating Section 77 of Presidential Decree 705 as amended by Republic Act 7161 or the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines.

The respondents allegedly chopped up 271 different species of trees and sold it as charcoal.

The complaint was filed by Roldan Cotejo, officer-in-charge of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office in Carmen, Cebu.

The complaint was supported by the affidavits of Gilardo Suico and Nestor Gelaga.

Suico, a resident of Libertad, Bogo City, said that on May 2, 2014 together with his sister they visited their lot in Sitio Campalok, Bongon, Tabuelan, Cebu, because somebody reported to them that the trees therein were being cut and made into charcoal.

Suico said they saw several persons actually making charcoal within their lot. There were allegedly piles of sacks of charcoal and newly-cut trees. Suico said they immediately reported the incident to the barangay hall.

Gelaga, an employee of the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources, said he is a forest protection officer assigned at DENR-CENRO Carmen, and his duties and responsibilities include forest patrolling, securing forestlands, and apprehending violators for illegal cutting and illegal transportation of forest products.

Gelaga said that on June 26, 2014, together with forest ranger Ricardo Asendiente and Lemuel Arellano, they went to Sitio Campalok to conduct verification on the reported illegal cutting of trees.

 Based on the inventory conducted by the team of Gelaga, a total of P41,988.48 worth of trees were illegally cut by the suspects. According to Gelaga, there was no cutting permit issued to the suspects.  (FREEMAN)

BENJAMIN BRAVO BOGO CITY CEBU CEBU PROVINCIAL PROSECUTOR COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES OFFICE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAL RESOURCES GELAGA GILARDO SUICO AND NESTOR GELAGA SITIO CAMPALOK SUICO TABUELAN
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