Tuesday, 19 July 2011 11:42
Isabela City, Basilan – Confiscated illegal lumber in Tawi-Tawi was used to support the infrastructure needs of local schools, the Marine Battalion Landing Team-4 (MBLT-4) said.
The MBLT-4 operatives and Naval Intelligence Service Unit-64 (NISU-64) had intercepted contraband of some 23,814 board feet of lumbers in Tawi-Tawi, recently.
The assorted sizes of sawn lumber were placed under the custody of Headquarters Marine Battalion Landing Team-4 at Marine Barracks Domingo Deluana, located in Barangay Sanga-Sanga, Bongao, Tawi-Tawi for proper disposition.
The military said that it begun using some of these confiscated lumber to build school tables, chairs, desks, and book shelves for the Sanga-Sanga National High School.
The military reported that the said contraband was confiscated last May 25 at Dungon River, Panglima Sugala Municipality in Tawi-Tawi. Troops have intercepted sea vessels M/L Fatima Amda with fifteen crew members and M/L AFIFA with seven crew members en route to Bacolod City in Negros Occidental and Tamao in Sabah Malaysia to deliver the goods.
The seized contraband contained 15,000 board feet of lumber loaded in M/L Fatima Amda and some 8,814 board feet of lumber and three bundles (25 each) of mangrove poles were discovered load in M/L AFIFA.
Reports further reveal that a certain Hji. Amsung Hadjani of barangay Baliwasan, Zamboanga City and Hji Ben Nami of Sitio Housing, barangay Tubig Boh, Bongao, Tawi-Tawi are the owners of the confiscated lumber loaded in the two shipments.
The military said the owners of the said lumber clearly violated Executive Order No. 23 dated 25 February 2011 on log ban, “declaring a moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber in the national and residual forests and creating the anti-illegal logging task force”.
The EO stated that “it is the obligation of the State to protect the remaining forest cover areas of the country not only to prevent flash floods and hazardous flooding but also to preserve biodiversity, protect threatened habitats and sanctuaries of endangered and rare species, and allow natural regeneration of residual forests and development of plantation forests.” (ML-MBLT4/RVC-PIA9 BaSulTa)
By Rene V. Carbayas
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