River used to hide hot wood



IMAGE AILTF Tapucan Mauban 0511315  IMAGE AILTF Tapucan Mauban 051315- 4 2

Retrieved from the bottom of the Tapucan River in Brgy. Tapucan, Mauban, Quezon were 420 pieces of flitches, with a total volume of 17,969.59 bd ft. worth PhP4.5 million of mostly kamagong (Diospyrus blancoi) and narra (Pterocarpus indicus), both banned forest tree species, during a weeklong anti-illegal logging operation culminating on May 15, Friday, conducted by the joint team from the DENR Calabarzon Regional Mobile Checkpoint Team led by Forester Arnold Arbolado, DENR Quezon led by Pagbilao Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer Ramil Gutierrez, OPLAN Mauban-Real-Infanta-General Nakar-Umiray-Aurora-Polillio Group of Islands (Oplan MAREINAUA-POGI) Team led by Real CENR Officer Miliarete Panaligan, Quezon Police Provincial Public Safety Company, 85th IB, 2ID of the Philippine Army led by 1LT Harold Bigtas and PFC Winston Perges. Elements from the Mauban Police Station also provided support.

Left photo shows DENR Pagbilao chief Ramil Gutierrez (backround, 2nd from right) supervising the hauling operations.

Guided by tips and maps drawn on 'palara' cigarette wrappers and on banana leaves sent by concerned citizens who do not want to be identified, DENR-Real chief Miliarete Panaligan (not in photo), led divers in retrieving the submerged hardwood. She surmised that the kamagong and narra were shipped from as far north as the Sierra Madre Range in Cagayan and Isabela in north Luzon. She added that the wood were supposedly hidden submerged by unscrupulous poachers under the Tapucan River only temporarily but were intercepted. She lamented that her team was not able to make any arrests.

A certain "Iko" tried to prevent Panaligan's team to retrieve the contraband wood. Iko, who was also identified as Nestor Manaog evaded arrest.