February 1, 2023

An elf truck carrying undocumented 100 pieces of Benguet pine lumber and its driver were apprehended by the Enforcement and Monitoring Section (EMS) of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office Buguias for violation of the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines.

In the report of EMS Chief Eloida P. Ganayan to the OIC CENR officer, the vehicle driven by Garbell Lasoy was apprehended morning of June 11 in a barangay road to Poliwes, Abiang, Atok, Benguet while the EMS was conducting its regular monitoring in the area.

The vehicles of the EMS team and of the suspect met along the narrow barangay road, which led the former to park their vehicle at the road side to allow the elf to pass.

While the other vehicle was ascending, forest guards Benny Pesnek and Carlito Payangdo, who were at the topload part of the EMS vehicle, noticed the uncovered portions of pine lumber at the rear side of the vehicle.

The forest guards jumped off from their vehicle, ran after the other vehicle, and signalled its driver to stop and park the vehicle.

When the driver parked, Ganayan and the two forest guards asked the driver for his name and about the load of his vehicle.

While the Lasoy identified himself, he refused to answer what was loaded in his vehicle and also refused to remove the cover at the rear side of the vehicle, prompting the team to inspect the uncovered part of the load and saw pieces of two by three Benguet pine lumber.

When asked, the driver told the team that the lumber did not have a permit to transport. He was then informed that the lack of permit is a violation of Section 77 of the Revised Forestry Code or Presidential Decree 705.

The elf and its contents were confiscated and brought for safekeeping at the Cenro in Caliking, Atok while the EMS coordinated with the Atok police for the arrest of the suspect.

Inventory of the seized lumber revealed 100 pieces of two by three by 10 pine lumber with a total volume of 500 board feet worth P17,500.

A criminal case against the suspect has been filed and the registered owner of the vehicle was also informed of the proceedings pursuant to Department of Environment and Natural Resources Administrative Order 97-32 or the “1997 Rules for the Administrative Adjudication of Illegal Forest Products, and the Machinery, Equipment, Tools, and Conveyances Used in Connection Therewith.” – Hanna C. Lacsamana