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Sorsogon City Councilor to DENR "Can We Trust You?"

City Councilor Hilario Dioneda (SCWD FB photo grab )
SORSOGON City - Not getting anymore detailed report from DENR PENRO Sorsogon during an inquiry of Sangguniang Panlungsod regarding illegally felled trees in Cabarbuhan and San Vicente Bacon District here on Tuesday, Bacon Councilor Hilario Dioneda asked point blank "can we trust you (DENR)?"

The question aroused from the prolonged investigation by DENR PENRO Sorsogon regarding the illegal cutting down of trees within Sorsogon City's properties even inside the declared Wildlife and Nature Park known also as Sorsogon City Eco Park.

Forty-seven (47) premium hardwood trees of different species which includes 28 Narra, were illegally removed in Cabarbuhan while forty-six (46) others, mostly "Sambulawan", in San Vicente both in Bacon District based from City ENRO's validation.

Lawyer Eduardo Gumba, PENRO Sorsogon legal officer repeatedly begged off to name names those who are involved in the controversial issue citing exceptions from FOI directives issued by the Malacanang, adding though that they have already submitted their recommendations to the DENR Regional Office V.

Dioneda at first didn't seem to wane from Gumba's evasive posturing on the questions earlier propounded by City Councilors Eric Ravanilla, Dave Duran and Lawyer Councilor Joven Laura.

He tried as much to squeeze information from the DENR representative, only to be warded off.

The city council had conducted legislative inquiry on the controversy to get the facts directly from the local authorities not relying on hearsay, and to dispel the perception that city officials tolerated the environmental abuse within its properties.

Dioneda expressed concern that the massive cutting down of trees in Cabarbuhan which hosts 3 major rivers, could lead to environmental disaster, like flash floods, in the near future.

The city councilor later asked City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer-in-charge Luisito Mendoza, who was also one of the invited resource person, to give special attention to the situation now in Cabarbuhan which would eventually become vulnerable to hazard due to massive tree removal.

Dioneda is a three-termed Cabarbuhan village captain before getting elected to the Sorsogon City Council now serving his second term. #

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