Wednesday, 19 September 2012 15:25
ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman and DENR Secretary Ramon Paje are set to inspect the thousands of board feet of illegally cut logs on board a cargo boat that came from Basilan Province and was impounded last week in General Santos City pending further investigation.
In an interview, Hataman vowed to take legal actions against the owners of the illegal contraband if found they violated the environmental laws.
It will be recalled, last week authorities seized thousands of board feet of lumber on board a boat which came from Basilan Province bound for General Santos City.
A military official earlier disclosed the shipper’s name that appeared in the documents transporting the illegally cut logs is allegedly a certain Mashul Ismael a city councilor of Isabela and the boat is allegedly owned by Vice Mayor Abdulbaki Ajibon.
Basilenos are calling the ARMM government to take legal steps against the owners of the illegally cut lumber because of the rampant cutting of trees in the watershed of the province.
Military officials during an aerial inspection of the forest have disclosed at least 100 hectares of the watershed area is now denuded due to uncontrolled cutting of trees.
The Basilan residents expressed fear the extensive cutting of trees would lead to flooding in the future that will result to damage to properties, loss of lives and destruction of crops in the province especially in low-lying areas.
Hataman vowed to exhort all measures to prevent the unabated cutting of trees not only in Basilan but in the autonomous region as well.
He called on DENR officials to exert all efforts in their campaign for a total log ban in the ARMM.
By Nonong Santiago
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