Friday, June 21, 2013

Illegal logging syndicate tagged behind gun attack on Ecija forester

CABANATUAN CITY –  A syndicate engaged in llegal logging in identified “hot spots” in Nueva Ecija has been tagged for the twin assassination attempts on a forester of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the province.
          Leovino Ignacio, DENR provincial  DENR provincial environment and natural resources officer, said a syndicate operating in Bongabon town could be behind the gun attack on Edgardo Luna.
          De Luna, 49, of Barangay Bantug Bulalo here suffered a gunshot wound at the back of his neck after he was shot by a motorcycle-riding gunman Friday at Purok Camalig, Barangay Bangad.
          De Luna was driving his motorcycle on his way home when shot from close range by the gunman who was riding in tandem with a companion.
          It was the second slay attempt on De Luna who was also shot by a lone gunman on May 23 by a gunman while he was aboard a XLT passenger jeep in Barangay Bitas also in this city.
          Ignacio said De Luna may have angered members of the syndicate operating in Bongabon town following a series of successful anti-illegal logging operations there.
“This is a big syndicate,” he said, adding many were hurt by the DENR’s campaign against illegal logging of which De Luna is in the forefront, particularly  in Bongabon.
          Ignacio said the intensified campaign against illegal loggers was earlier ordered by DENR regional executive director Maximo Dichoso targeting Bongabon and the other “hot spots” such as the towns of  Carranglan, Gabaldon, Gen. Tinio, Laur and Pantabangan.
          Earlier, De Luna led a DENR team in confiscating 1,000 board feet of wood from the owner of a furniture shop in Barangay Antipolo in Bongabon.
Ignacio called on local government officials in the “hot spots” areas to help out in the anti-illegal logging campaign. “If they would just help us, I see no reason why our campaign won’t succeed,” he said.

Juan Fernandez Jr., DENR community environment and natural resources officer for central Nueva Ecija based in Talavera town has asked Ignacio to arm forest rangers in their fight against illegal loggers. (Manny Galvez) 

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