Businessman, 3 others nabbed over hot lumber

A criminal charge for violation of Presidential Decree 705, or the Forestry Code of the Philippines, will be filed against a businessman and three other residents of Panganiban town after they were intercepted while transporting undocumented lumber on board four vehicles last week.

The successful operation against the violation of forestry laws was conducted by joint elements of the Panganiban police led by Lt. Noe Balantes and the 2nd Police Mobile Force Company Forward Platoon based in Burabod, Panganiban and headed by Cpl. Dan Bagay.

At 9:40 P.M. of Feb. 2, 2021 along the national highway at barangay San Miguel, the team flagged down the convoy, which was led by a black Kawasaki Bajaj topdown loaded with 12 pieces of 1x10x12 and four pieces of 2x2x12 lumber with an estimated market value of P2,600.

The other three vehicles were a Kawasaki topdown with 29 pieces of 2x2x12 lumber valued at P5,800, a Honda tricycle carrying 45 pieces of 2x2x12 valued at P9,000 and a Euro 150 topdown loaded with 26 pieces of 2x2x12 lumber valued at P6,000.

A source identified those arrested as Jessie Tapia, 38, a farmer from Mabini; Ruwel Concepcion, 42, a businessman from San Miguel; and Jose Ogalesco, 43, also a San Miguel resident.

The driver of the Euro topdown, Ricky dela Cruz, also from San Miguel, managed to escape in the dark and is now being pursued.

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