MANILA — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Thursday said operatives of the bureau’s Environmental Crime Division (NBI-EnCD) arrested two persons for illegally keeping timbers or lumbers with an estimated amount of PHP50 million in Barangay Bagbag, Novaliches, Quezon City.
NBI Director Dante A. Gierran identified the two suspects as Erwin Villegas and Rolly Martin who were arrested in a joint operation of NBI-EnCD and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) based on a search warrant issued by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 94.
The operatives also seized timbers or lumbers of narra, yakal, molave, bolong, woodworking planer and chainsaw during the operation.
The joint operation was conducted in compliance with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to enforce total logging moratorium particularly, mandating the Department of the Environmental Crime Task Force (NAECTF) to formulate an operation plan to be implemented in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Department of Justice (DOJ), the Ombudsman, and the NBI.
DENR Undersecretary Arturo Valdez, head of NAECTF, earlier wrote a letter to Gierran requesting the NBI to provide the necessary manpower complement for the anti-illegal logging enforcement operations.
The two suspects were presented for inquest proceedings before the Office of the Inquest Prosecutor, DOJ for violation of PD 705 as amended by Executive Order No.277 (Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines), violation of R.A. 9175 (An Act Regulating the Ownership, Possession, Sale, Importation and Use of Chainsaws, Penalizing Violations Thereof and for Other Purposes), and R.A. 1950 (An Act Regulating the Operation of Sawmills, Requiring Operators of Sawmills to Obtain from the Director of Forestry Permits for the Operation of Such Sawmills, and Providing Penalties for Violations Thereof). (PNA)