The lifeless body of Forest Ranger Bienvinido "Toto" Veguilla Jr. after he was hacked to death by illegal loggers. (Photo courtesy of PRO MIMAROPA)
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Ruel Fulgencio, one of the four wanted suspects in the slaying of a forest ranger in El Nido, has been arrested by the police but not before he was shot in the foot.

A progress report sent by Police Regional Office (PRO) MIMAROPA spokesperson P/Col. Aries Faltado said carpenter-farmer Fulgencio, 39, a resident of Sitio Binuan, Barangay Pasadeña, was arrested on September 7 at around 4 p.m. at Sitio Dolarog, Brgy. Corong-Corong.

Fulgencio was among the suspects in the slaying of forest ranger Bienvinido “Toto” Veguilla Jr. on September 4 in Pasadeña.

He died when he was hacked on the back and on the head.

The El Nido Municipal Police Station (MPS) received a tip off from a concerned citizen that Fulgencio had been spotted around 2:30 p.m. in Corong-Corong. A team of police personnel then proceeded to area to arrest him, including P/Corporal Ronald Tenorio.

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However, upon seeing the policemen, Fulgencio shot Tenorio but missed. The policeman retaliated and hit the suspect on the foot.

Fulgencio was brought to the rural health unit (RHU) in El Nido for his wound to be treated.

To date, the police already have three suspects in custody while three more remain on the run.

READ RELATED STORY: DENR forest rangers to be armed, following Veguilla murder

Cases of violation of the Chainsaw Act, Presidential Decree 705 or the Forestry Reform Code of the Philippines, attempted murder, and murder have already been filed against Felman “Broy” Flores and Ricardo “Carding” Fulgencio.

In a Saturday phone interview with Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) MIMAROPA regional executive director Henry Adornado, he said Flores, the Fulgencios, and the three other wanted suspects are relatives known to be notorious illegal loggers in Pasadeña.

“Ano daw pala itong mga ito, the entire family ganoon ang trabaho, mag-illegal logging. ‘Yong lugar daw ng Pasadeña, halos iisang family lang — clan, clan ‘yong mga nakatira doon. Magkakamag-anak sila ng mga Fulgencios at ‘yong iba pang suspek,” Adornado said.

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has been with Palawan News since January 2019. She is its managing editor, overseeing and coordinating day-to-day editorial activities. Her writing interests are politics and governance, health, defense, investigative journalism, civic journalism, and the environment.