Councilman Fears of Whitewash Over Illegal Logging in Sorsogon's Eco Park

Sorsogon City - A City councilman fears whitewash on the massive illegal tree cutting at the Sorsogon eco park in Cabarbuhan and in another land own also by the city in San Vicente, Bacon during the City council regular session here Tuesday.

The DENR Provincial office in Sorsogon reported that there were 40 premium hardwood trees, 28 Narra, illegally cut down in Cabarbuhan and 39 others in San Vicente.

Though in a separate report, the City Enviroment and Natural Resources office validated some 47 trees in Cabarbuhan while 46 premium trees in San Vicente were lost to illegal cutting which happend between December 2019 to January 2020.

Atty Joven Laura, east district councilor, expressed dismay over the DENR personnel's refusal to disclose any names or other details of the investigation who invoked confidentiality as part of the exceptions under the Executive Order no. 02 known as the Freedom of Information program issued by President Rodrigo Duterte last July of 2016.

But Laura underscored the failure of DENR Sorsogon provincial office to file any appropriate charges in more than a month of tracking the perpetrators notwithstanding the evidences pinpointing a number of city employees as behind the forest abuse.

Atty Eduardo Gumba, PENRO Legal officer said the Cabarbuhan incident findings and recommendations have been forwarded to DENR regional office for final determination of the final course of action such as filing charges, while the other tree cutting incident in San Vicente are still under investigation.

"This cases are different because the suspects were not caught inflagrante, so we just rely on circumstancial evidence." Gumba said.

Meanwhile, City Legal officer Atty. Roberto Labitag confirmed that upon order from Office of the City mayor his office have also undertook separate investigation.

He said that an administrative cases are about to be filed not later than Friday of this week at the Civil Service Commission citing judicial affidavits his office have gathered implicating individuals connected to the city government.

This just only show he added, that the City government does not tolerate any malfeasance or misfeasance of employees, especially so, that the abuses were committed inside the very own private property of the city.

City ENRO Ronando Gerona have enumerated the details that were also validated by his office.

Gerona said that he have already submitted his report to the office of the mayor wherein names of City employees such as SP Secretary Noel G. Dreu, Resty Gonzales et. al. cropped up.

Dreu, on the other hand, cried foul over the imminent implication of his name adding that the people behind are just "envious, jealous and angered at him and that there is politics behind all of these."

He said that he is ready to face whatever charges leveled against him but "he who comes to court must come with clean hands."

Dreu is the designated Deputy Administrator for Bacon district and also the Solid Waste Management program manager of Sorsogon City government.# (Sorsogon News 030320)

Councilman Fears of Whitewash Over Illegal Logging in Sorsogon's Eco Park Councilman Fears of Whitewash Over Illegal Logging in Sorsogon's Eco Park Reviewed by Sorsogon-News on 10:34 PM Rating: 5

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