Zambo folks urged to protect watershed against poachers PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 14:38

Police Regional Office-9 Director Chief  Supt. Napoleon R. Estilles has urged local officials and the good people of Zamboanga City to protect and preserve the Zamboanga City watershed and its vicinities because “it is the treasure of the populace for future generation.”

Estilles said that officials of barangays and people living near the watershed should fight and arrest illegal poachers and illegal loggers as watershed gives life to all the people and other living creatures.

He said that last Sunday, in a concerted effort and joint operation, men of the Zamboanga City Public Safety Company led by Supt.  William S. Gadayan and the Anti-Illegal Logging and Anti-Illegal Mining Task Force Western Mindanao led by Marines Col. Elmer Estilles as well as personnel from the City Environment and Natural  Resources Office raided an illegal logging site at Sitio Nanca between Barangays Lapakan and Tolosa and arrested  three illegal loggers.       Aside from 50 lumber flitches and two power saws seized, the raiders also recovered undocumented firearms like one Springfield Garand rifle with seven bullets, one 38 cal. revolver with six bullets and five improvised rifles locally known as “boga”

During the operation, it was also discovered that some woods from illegally cut lumber were made into charcoal.

A case has been filed with the Regional Trial Court against the three suspects who are residents of Barangay Lamisahan.

Estilles commended the law enforcers for the arrest of the three illegal loggers.

Earlier, Tourism Regional Director Mary June Bugante has underscored the importance of the watershed when she revealed that watershed and its vicinities are home to 43 endemic birds that can not be found in other countries.

Zamboanga City Water District Manager Leonardo Rey “Chito” Vasquez also revealed last month that the Zamboanga City Watershed is one of only two forested areas that are intact in Mindanao. The other is Mt. Apo forest protected area that gives water to Davao City, Digos City, Kidapawan City, North Cotabato, Davao del Sur.

District 2 Congressman Erbie A. Fabian’s House Bill 0042 which seeks to establish the Pasonanca Watershed Forest Reserve as protected area under the category of Natural Park and its peripheral areas as buffer zone is now at the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources chaired by Senator Chiz Escudero. — Allen Abastillas