SEIZED UNDOCUMENTED AND FINISHED FOREST PRODUCT

Some 1.16 million pesos worth of finished and undocumented forest product were seized in a subdivision in Mandaue City.

The seizure came after Executive Judge Teresita Abarquez-Galanida of Regional Trial Court Branch 56, Mandaue City issued a search warrant number 8-18-2015 last August 19 to Danilo Apao for violation of section 77 of Presidential Degree 705 or the Forestry Code of the Philippines in relation to Executive Order 23.

A total of 34 pieces or four tables and 30 chairs made of Mancono were found inside the house of Apao in Maria Antonia Village, Labogon, Mandaue City past 1 in the afternoon last August 19.

“The owner of the seized forest products will have to undergo an administrative adjudication proceedings to determine its culpability to existing forestry laws and regulations and the appropriate criminal cases will be filed against him,” said Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 Regional Director Dr. Isabelo R. Montejo.

The search warrant states, among others, “good and sufficient reasons exist that Apao has in his possession and control of the four finished tables and 30 finished chairs derived from undocumented Manconono species”.

DENR-7’s Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Cebu City led by foresters Nolito Lapinig, Lucio Cañete, Jr. and Arnold Omandam enforced the search warrant with forest rangers Danilo Orbasido, Lucito Sardañas, Ronilo Rentucan and Ronald Anabieza.

Montejo explained the requirement of providing transport documents covering the said forest commodities becomes very important, not only as a basis for determining the resource drain but also in providing a control mechanism against the unauthorized movement and disposition of contraband forest products.

“As ordered by the Court, a compliance report will be submitted to Executive Judge Abarquez-Galanida” said CENR Officer Raul Pasoc

Pasoc said the confiscated forest products are now at the DENR-CENRO Cebu City for safekeeping which will be used as pieces of evidence in the court.

“There is no let up in our campaign against violators of the environmental laws. I have directed our DENR field officers to strictly monitor alleged illegal transport of forest products,” Montejo said.

Mancono (Xanthostemon verdugonianus) is one of the most valuable and important species in the Philippines because of its hardness and weight and has been used for posts, saltwater piling, tool handles, bowling balls, dumb-bells, paper weights, and other novelties.

“The DENR pursues a more vigorous campaign against environmental law violators as environmental law enforcement is one of the priority thrusts of DENR Secretary Ramon JP Paje,” Montejo added.

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