By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
MANILA — Are military personnel involved in large-scale, illegal logging operations in the country?
The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) is convinced that this is a possibility. It advised Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon Paje to launch investigations into the matter.
Pamalakaya national chairman Fernando Hicap said the DENR’s supposed campaign against illegal logging in the country has not been successful because the agency, for the longest time, has been turning a blind eye on the activities of the military when it comes to logging. He said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) should not be used in the fight against illegal logging because many elements and even ranking official AFP officials serve as protectors of logging syndicates.
Recently, Paje said the DENR would seek the military’s support in the campaign against illegal loggers. He has taken up the matter with Department of National Defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin..... MORE