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MANILA, Philippines - Illegal forest products continue to show up in raids against clandestine log warehouses with another discovery of freshly cut logs and lumber in Caraga region particularly in Agusan del Sur, government authorities said on Sunday.
Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force (AILTF) Executive Director Renato Miranda said that on August 9 his men together with elements of the Alpha Company of 26th Infantry Battalion and policemen seized illegally cut logs in an old warehouse in Purok 19, Curbada, Poblacion, Bayugan City.
Miranda said the confiscated forest products include 70,000 board feet of assorted logs composed of Mix Dipterocarp (lauan) red and white, Bagtikan, Tangile, Mayapis, and Almon.
He said the hot items have an estimated value of P1.7 million and now placed under the temporary custody of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) led by Officer-In-Charge Eleazar Alaira.
Several local executives in Agusan del Sur were being investigated for their alleged participation in illegal logging activities by defying President Benigno Aquino III’s Executive Order 23 which he signed for implementation February 2011.
Aquino had ordered concerned government agencies to investigate and prosecute illegal loggers that continue to rape the country’s last remaining timber corridor.
This prompted Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo to investigate local officials that may be involved in illegal logging but he has yet to give an update about the progress of the investigation.