WHO OWNS THE LOGS? Espino denies owning confiscated logs

October 3, 2011 at 6:45 am Leave a comment

By Yolanda Sotelo

LINGAYEN –“Logs” to “flitches” to “driftwood.”

A forester from the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office-Alaminos City called as “driftwood” the 45 pieces of logs they confiscated last week from a truck driver, after the driver told a television reporter that the forest products belonged to “governor.”

But who really owns the molave and guijo logs seized by the Cenro last week in Bamban, Infanta, remains a mystery after environment officials said the driver later refused to talk about the owner.

An irate Governor Amado Espino Jr. denied he owned the wood, saying ABS CBN television reporter Cris Zuniga “connected my name to make the story bigger.”

In the news report last Friday, the driver said “kay gob po yan,” on who owned the logs.

But Espino said “even if the price of the wood is 100 times, I could afford to pay.”

He said he saw the forest products could not be logs as “they are less than four meters each and could fit in an elf truck.”

“Hindi kasya ang troso sa elf truck. Putol-putol na kahoy lang yon,” he said. An investigation report of the Cenro said the forest products were “flitches of molave and guijo.”

During the press conference, Espino presented one William Dy, a contractor whom he said he “asked to construct” rural health clinics in the villages of Pita and Babuyan, as the one who hired the truck to bring materials to the construction site.

Dy said he did not know that the driver and the helper “back loaded” the truck with the logs.

A report of Cenro dated September 22, 2011 said it was the bantay gubat (forest guards) and local police which apprehended what they called “flitches” from truck driver Nestor Cervantes of Bugallon and helper John Arieta of Binmaley.

The shipment was not supported by legal and transport documents, thus the two were apprehended and the truck and forest products were taken into custody by the Cenro.

After the news was reported on tv, forester Michael Reynoso said he asked Cervantes who ordered him to load the logs but “he refused to talk.”

Reynoso also called the logs as “old molave which are driftwood already” and which could have been cut “maybe more than five years ago.”

Cenro-Alaminos Celso Salazar said since they could not pinpoint the logs’s owners, they will file the case against the driver and the helper. He said whoever is found in possession of forest products would be the one to be sued.

Entry filed under: News.

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