Personnel of Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), responding to reports of illegal logging activities, conducted a joint operation and discovered a damaged portion of land covering 7,200 square meters along kilometer 38 in Barangay Luzviminda, last Tuesday, March 30.
DENR forestry technician I Romel Adatu said a certain Nolito Fidel will be invited to their office next week for an administrative hearing. He added that Fidel told their team that the will use the land area for upland farming.
Fidel presented himself as a member of MIVILUF Foundation, Inc. and their president, Jose Romel Murio, alias Datu Kasaligan, informed them of their rights in the area.
“Ang magpapaliwanag niyan ay ang mga opisyales namin dahil ako ay miyembro lang ng ng tribu. Wala man akong plano diyan sir, taniman ko iyan ng palay, saging,” Fidel said.
Iwahig Corrections Facility (ICF) deputy superintendent for security operations CCI Gary Garcia who led the operation said when they reached the area, it was already cleared.
“Hindi natin siya na-caught in the act although inamin niya naman na siya ang namutol ng kahoy sa area. Una ay gagawan muna namin ng report tapos ang magiging recommendation namin doon ay imbitahan sa opisina para sa admin hearing. Cutting of trees ‘yan, section 77 ng PD 705 o yong Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines, iyan ang posibleng maikaso sa kaniya kung sakaling mapatunayan sa admin hearing,” Adatu said.
“Ang sabi ay mag-ama iyan na nagsasagawa ng pamumutol ng kahoy doon. Palagay ko bago lang kasi may malalaking kahoy na pinutol,” he added.
Adatu also said that Fidel claims the area to be a part of their ancestral land.
“Base naman sa samahan ng mga katutubo dito sa Kamuning ay hindi nila ito kilala si Mr. Fidel. Taga-Quezon daw ito, nanirahan na diyan sa Kilometer 38 since 2008. Ang plano nila diyan pagtapos i-clear ang area ay tatamnan nila ng fruit bearing trees at root crops,” he said.
Meanwhile, Adatu said that with the discovery, presence of DENR and BuCor will be more visible in the area for monitoring.