SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga– Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) seized about 6,000 board feet of illegally sourced lumber of premium hardwood species worth more than a million in Nueva Ecija.
“With the help of the Philippine Army and Philippine National Police, we raided a one-hectare compound in barangay Langla in Jaen town by virtue of a search warrant issued by Executive Judge Celso Baguio of Gapan City,” DENR Regional Director Paquito T. Moreno Jr said.
“Premium species of Yakal, Lauan, and Molave were found inside the compound without necessary documents. These species are banned for cutting and obviously they are illegally sourced out from our remaining natural forest in the Sierra Madre mountain range,” he added.
The raided compound fronts as a hardware/construction outlet registered under Jocelyn Flaminianio but turned out to be a wood processing facility.
“We are not tolerating our lumber dealer permit holder to used illegally sourced forest products for their business,” Moreno stressed.
DENR believes that the Flaminiano group controls about 60 percent of the trading of illegally sourced lumber from the Sierra Madre mountain range in Aurora, Nueva Ecija, and Bulacan and this illegal practice has been going on for the last 10 years.
The illegal forest product came from the Sierra Madre Mountain range in Dona Remedios Trinidad in Bulacan which pass through the river system of Sumacbao to General Tinio in Nueva Ecija.
“We are serious in our campaign to curb once and for all any illegal forest activities and checking illegal market outlets of lumber is one of the best way to stop it,” Moreno furthered.
There are 12 registered lumber dealership in Nueva Ecija or a total of 316 in Central Luzon.
DENR is now preparing criminal and administrative charges to be filed against the owner of the wood processing facility.
If proven guilty, the offender could face imprisonment of more than 10 years under Articles 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code, for violation of section 77 of the Presidential Decree 705 as amended or the Revised Forestry Code involving possession of illegal sourced forest products. (PIA 3)