The Provincial Law Enforcement Task Force is likely to file charges against certain local official allegedly involved in the illegal logging activities in the southern part of Palawan.
Atty. Teodoro Jose Matta, provincial legal officer hinted that aside from the six suspects arrested during the recent seizure of illegally cut assorted flitches of premium lumber in Rizal and Bataraza towns, a local official might be implicated in the process of investigation. He however, did not disclose the identity of the official as the investigation is still ongoing.
“May anim na kinasunahan na kami and we are thinking of filing charges against certain local official pero ‘yan na muna ang masasabi ko sa ngayon,” Atty. Matta said.
The six suspects who are now facing charges of illegal logging, violation of chainsaw act and wildlife act are Claudio Ejansantos, Jr., Otong Abdurajak, Makaniral Rakman, Negro Julaide and Erap Julaide . and another one whose name was not noted by Palawan News.
The estimated 100,000 board feet of illegally cut premium lumber species such as Ipil and Mangis were confiscated in two separate operations. The first operation was in November 16 at Polange, Brgy. Latud in Rizal town and ten days after another batch of premium species of lumber were seized by government authorities in Bataraza town.
The Task Force admitted that they intentionally not involved the mayors of these town considering the sensitivity of their operations.
“In operation like this, we were very careful not to divulge information. There are really certain officials that we exclude in the planning and execution,” he said.
According to Matta, the primary directive of Governor Jose Chavez –Alvarez to the task force is to uphold the protection of the environment, enforce laws on illegal drugs, control the proliferation of illegal firearms and stop human trafficking.
The provincial government has allotted P60M for the peace and order program which can be utilized by the task force to strengthen its activities.
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