ZAMBOANGA CITY, Mar. 12 (PIA) - - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) calls on lawmakers to enact laws classifying illegal logging as high crime
DENR 9 Information Division Chief Roservirico Tan in a press statement said “environment Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje is urging lawmakers to act immediately against the continued killing of forest protection workers by enacting laws classifying illegal logging as a heinous crime.”
Tan said the secretary made the appeal after another DENR employee in Agusan del Sur died with the illegal loggers as suspected perpetrators.
Tan recounted “on February 22, DENR tree marker Jaime Diez, 45, was shot dead inside his residence in Bayugan, Agusan del Sur, 15 days after DENR forestry specialist Melania Dirain, 47, was gunned down inside her office in Sanchez Mira, Cagayan last February 7, 2011.”
The information chief said, “President Benigno Aquino III earlier directed the DENR, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of National Defense (DND), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to heighten the campaign against illegal logging including the protection of forest law enforcers.”
Tan in the same press statement quoted Paje saying, “Drug pushers and economic saboteurs are slapped with capital punishments for destroying lives and families. With more reason that illegal loggers should be meted out with the same punishment because the death which they cause not only destroys lives and families but communities as well with every tree felled by their chainsaws.”
Tan revealed there is a bill now pending in the House of Representatives declaring illegal logging a heinous crime.
He said “House Bill (HB) 00744 filed by Representative Jane Tan Castro of Capiz on July 7, 2010 seeks to make capital punishment as the penalty for illegal logging, and that it should be meted out with the penalty of death should the death penalty be restored for capital offenses as defined in the Revised Penal Code.” (JPA/ RPAO/DENR/PIA- ZBST)