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4 people held for narra logging
Dexter A. See
Environment, 4-13-2014

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The enhanced partnership between the community and police in the campaign against illegal logging resulted in the confiscation of more than P1.7 million worth of lumber and arrest of four individuals in Abra recently.

Personnel of the Abra Police Provincial Office received an information from a concerned citizen informing that a group of persons are hauling and loading Narra lumber in a dump truck at Sitio Baquero, Nalbuan, Licuan-Baay last week.

Licuan-Baay Police Chief Julius Basinga said upon receiving the information, they put up a checkpoint along the Abra-Kalinga Road and flagged down two dump trucks owned by the Golden Summit Corporation.

He said occupants of the two dump trucks presented a permit to the government forces but when the same permit was verified by personnel of the Provincial Department of Environment and Natural Resources, it was found to be invalid. This resulted in the arrest of the suspects.

Abra Provincial Police Director Benjamin Lusad identified the arrested individuals as Hector Busto Pulido, 31, a resident of Bobonot, Dasul; Melven Valdez Balisalisa, 32, a resident of Malimpin, Dasul; Jhonathan Bacurin Mina, 40 a resident of Magsaysay, Alaminos; and Prince Rivera Pobletin, 38, a resident of Mabini, all in Pangasinan.

“Other individuals who will be included in the charges for violation of Presidential Decree 705 or the Forestry Code who claim ownership of the lumber are Edgardo Sanchez of Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City; Fredolin Gapuz Vallangca of San Jose City, Nueva Ecija; Jenny Granado of Bangued, Abra; and Kwok Leung Lau, of  Quiapo, Manila.

Lusad said the confiscated lumber were scaled by members of the PENRO in Bangued. The assorted narra lumber had a total volume of 11,969.52 board feet with an estimated value of P1,795,428.

A case for violation of PD 705 was filed against the suspects.

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