DENR Rues Lack of Space for Storing Seized Lumber

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here is sorely lacking space for storing seized lumber and vehicles, forcing it to delay retrieval of confiscated materials.

OIC-CENRO Luvimindo Chioco told the Tribune last week that the lot their office is currently occupying is nearly overflowing with lumber and transport vehicles seized from past anti-illegal cutting operations that it has no longer space for the new ones.

He made the disclosure after a concerned citizen of Viga inquired through the Tribune why a lumber-carrying truck seized by policemen last April has yet to be brought to Virac for proper disposition.

Text messages sent by citizens informed the police last April 14 that a white six-wheeler truck loaded with lumber was sighted in Ananong and bound for the poblacion. Thirty minutes later, a team led by PO3 Romeo Ogalesco was patrolling barangay San Vicente when it saw a white Mitsubishi Canter truck (RBD-879) with its head just jutting out of the gate of the residence of Pantaleon Tongo.

The policemen caught Ruben Turreda, 45, and a male minor companion unloading 53 pieces of red lauan and “manay-banay” lumber of different sizes from the truck. The duo were arrested and detained at the police station.

Illegal cutting of trees in the town has been rampant lately, according to a local official. Last week, at 2 A.M. of May 27, a team led by PO1 Joseph Teope was conducting Oplan Sangyaman in barangay Sta. Rosa when it chanced upon three men trying to smuggle lumber using two motorcycles.

With Jeson Pertis as backrider, Santiago Morales was driving a black Euro 150 motorcycle loaded with 36 pieces of “apnit” lumber when they were apprehended along with designated look-out Jiland Menizabal, who was using a black Kawasaki Bajaj motorcycle.

Catanduanes Tribune