Thursday, October 06, 2011

Man, son face charges for cutting trees in watershed

Man, son face charges for cutting trees in watershed
By Ador Vincent Mayol
Cebu Daily News
October 6, 2011

A complaint was filed on Tuesday against two men accused of hacking down  trees to make charcoal  in sitio Kulabtingon, barangay Sudlon II in Cebu City.

Richard Ubod and his son Jonard were accused of  violating Presidential Decree 705 or the Forestry Reform Code of the Philippines in charges filed with the Cebu City Prosecutors’ Office.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Central Visayas (DENR-7) said the two men  should be held for trial for destroying the environment.

Both men eluded arrest.

They will be  given a chance to submit counter-affidavits to refute the allegations.
Based on a DENR-7 inventory  the cut logs in a reforestation site in barangay Sudlon  had a value of P1 million.

Tree cutting and kaingin or slash-and-burn farming are strictly prohibited within the 29,000-hectare Central Cebu Protected Landscape.

The trees were in a reforestation site developed by the Philippine Business for Social Progress and  the KEEP Foundation of Ret. Gen. Tiburcio Fusilero.

In his affidavit, Cristito Ruaza, project in charge of  KEEP  Foundation, said he and a laborer saw the two men  cutting native trees last Sept. 25.

Ruaza said the men  scampered away upon sensing their presence.   Juan Pablo Yao, a forester of the PBSP-Visayas,  also executed an affidavit  about the damage.

Last Sept. 28, Yao, along with representatives of the DENR, Cebu Uniting for Sustainable Water, and Kantipla Ecosystems Enhancement and Protection Foundation, went to the area to verify reports of kaingin and illegal logging.

When they arrived at sitio Kulabtingon, the group saw illegally cut trees.

They also noticed two charcoal pits in the area and a pile of logs ready to be burned for  charcoal.

The trees that were cut down included 80 mahogany trees, 20 coffee seedlings and a a few others of the species  bagalunga, tubog and molave.

Fresh sap in the stumps indicated that they were recently cut down.