March 19, 2012
A group of workers were arrested for transporting three truck-loads of illegally-cut logs estimated at P4 million which were seized by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Cagayan de Oro City last week.
The suspects were identified by NBI Officer-In-Charge Atty. Nonnatus Caesar R. Rojas as:
JONATHAN P. ONZO, MICHAEL D. LINGGI-AN, APOLINARIO M. ONZO, EDWARD CASTILLO, FRANS L. BELLO, CAREO C. CONGO, and his brother JUNREY, and REY B. SALAZAR, all from Talakag, Bukidnon;
VICTOR A. LANUZA, of Patag, Cagayan De Oro City; MARLON D. LINIAN, of Kauswagan, Cagayan De Oro City; and ROLANDO B. NOOL, of Milaya, Wao, Ilocos Sur.
An investigation report by the Northeastern Mindanao Regional Office (NEMRO) headed by Acting Regional Director Jose D. Doloiras was submitted to NBI Officer-In-Charge Nonnatus Caesar R. Rojas. It was disclosed that in the first week of March, they received information that three truckloads of illegally cut logs were to be transported from Talakag, Bukidnon going to Cagayan de Oro City.
The illegal logs were expected in Cagayan De Oro on March 11 or March 12, 2012 with armed escorts on board motorcycles who will serve as their look-out or "sweeper" in case of the presence of checkpoints.
Acting on the information, an NBI-NEMRO team was immediately formed to probe and verify the report. In the evening of March 11, said team proceeded to Bgy. Lumbia and positioned themselves in case the truck loads of illegal logs passed by.
After several hours of monitoring and search, the team later proceeded to Talakag, Bukidnon. At around 3:00 am of the following day while at Mambuaya, the team saw a convoy of three trucks enroute to Cagayan De Oro heavily loaded with cargoes covered with tarpaulin escorted by two men in motorcycles.
The NEMRO team tailed the trucks to the direction of Cagayan De Oro City. Minutes after, the group flagged down the convoy, and ordered the drivers to stop at the Cagayan De Oro Gardens in Lumbia, Cagayan De Oro City. However, when a look-out later identified as suspect Linian, was ordered to disembark from his motorcycle, he tried to flee, but the NBI men subdued him.
During verification, it was found out that the lumber cargoes were cut without any permit from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The three trucks loaded with thousands of board feet of illegally cut lumber were confiscated.
Charges for violation of illegally cut in violation of Section 68 (Section 77 re numbered) of PD 705 as amended by Executive Order No. 277 of the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines were filed against the suspects before the Cagayan De Oro City Provincial Prosecutor's Office.