LEGAZPI CITY, Feb. 9 (PNA) -- Police confiscated close to 13,000 board feet of illegally cut coco lumber with an estimated market value of PHP116,500 during separate operations in Irosin and Donsol towns in Sorsogon.
The also arrested Dexter M. Santos, 33, of Barangay San Mateo, Rizal, and truck helper Arnel Flores, 33, of Barangay Tambo, Ligao City.
Santos and Flores have been charged of violation of R.A. 8048 (Coconut Preservation Act of 1995).
Donsol Municipal Police Station personnel led by Police Chief Insp. Joel Triñanes, Donsol assistant chief of police, arrested the two on Tuesday afternoon in Barangay Gogon, Donsol, Sorsogon after concerned citizens informed the police.
Triñanes said the responding team was able locate a 10-wheeler truck with plate number ABB 6308 loaded with assorted sizes of coco lumber with 7,000 board feet worth PHP52,500.
During verification, the driver and helper failed to present any permit to transport the coco lumbers.
In another incident, police arrested truck driver Brigido Molina Jr., 30, of Barangay Cawayan in Iriga City, Camarines Sur, and helper Aldren Belgado, 30, of Nabua, Camarines Tuesday morning in Barangay Gulang-Gulang, Irosin, Sorsogon.
Police Chief Insp. Edwin Adora, Irosin town assistant police chief, said Gulang-Gulang barangay chairman Anacleto Nañoz personally went to the police station and reported that a 10-wheeler truck loaded with coco lumber was stuck in the mud at their place.
Responding team saw the Fuso truck with plate number ABB 5578 loaded with more or less 1,250 pieces of 2x4x12 coco lumber with some 8,000 board feet and an estimated market value of PHP64,000.
The apprehensions were based on Republic Act 10593 which authorizes the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), through the PNP, to arrest those who cut coconut trees illegally as well as stop unauthorized transport of coconut lumber. (PNA) FFC/FGS/AT/CBD