The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park-Protected Area Management Board (PPSRNP-PAMB) turned over on Friday to the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) the undocumented chainsaw it recently confiscated.
PPSRNP management information officer Jan Elmer Badilla said Saturday that park rangers confiscated the chainsaw on January 23 along with the freshly-cut Benuang Tree within the watershed of the protected area.
He added it was park ranger team leader Guillermo Celino who caught the operators of the chainsaw in the act of cutting the tree in the watershed area.
Badilla noted this was the first time the PPSRNP park rangers confiscated a chainsaw again since around 2014 or 2015.
He identified the chainsaw operators as Mario Cudio and Elbert Egnacio and its owner, Samuel Narag.
“Naabutan nila (park rangers) ‘yon si Cudio at si Egnacio na namumutol ng kahoy. Bale isang puno lang ang nakatumba, pero na-chop-chop na nila ‘yong trunk. Ngayong taon yes, [ito ang unang na-confiscate nating chainsaw],” said Badilla.
(They chanced upon Cudio and Egnacio while cutting down trees. One tree was felled, but the trunk had already been chopped. This year, yes, this is the first time we confiscated a chainsaw.)
The chainsaw was presented to the 48th PAMB meeting at the City Hall before it was formally handed to the PCSD.
Badilla said Cudio, Egnacio, and Narag will face charges for the violation of the Forestry Code of the Philippines or the Presidential Decree No. 705, and of the Republic Act 9175 or the Chainsaw Act.
“Para doon sa mga tao na naglalakas loob na gumawa ng illegal activity, warning na rin talaga [ito] na walang papalampasin ang PPUR management (This is a warning to those who will have the confidence to do illegal activity in the park),” said Badilla