Violation of Revised Forestry Reform Code of the Philippines

By Danny O. Calleja

Here’s one for timber poachers.

A 10 to 20 years imprisonment were meted out to three timber poachers for cutting a tree and hauling down the felled timber from a mountainous property to the village proper in Barangay Batong Paloway of San Andres town about two years ago.

Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 43 Presiding Judge Lelu Contreras found Abelardo Solero, 58, Eddie Somigao, 36 and Wilson Solero, 28 guilty of violation of Presidential Decree 705, otherwise known as the Revised Forestry Reform Code of the Philippines, as amended, which declared that all lands 18 degrees and above in slope is considered watershed areas and therefore owned by the government.

Court records show that on Jan. 25, 2010, Solero ordered Somigao to cut down a red lauan tree using a chainsaw at a property considered as timberland and registered under the stewardship of a certain Eva Masagca. The younger Solero hauled its lumber down to the barangay proper.

When Masagca learned of the tree cutting a week later, she complained before the barangay captain, who summoned the trio to a confrontation, where the elder Solero admitted the offense, case records showed.

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