MASBATE CITY, March 15 (PNA) —- The maritime police of Placer town in Masbate intercepted around 500 pieces of good lumber floating off the seas of Esperanza town while being dragged by a boat on Tuesday afternoon, a top maritime official of the province said Wednesday.
Sr. Insp. Alvin Santillan, maritime police chief of Masbate, said the two truckloads of lumber consisting of lawaan, mahogany, tangili and apitong were being transported from the Placer Municipal Police Office to Masbate City.
He said a tipster had informed the maritime police in Placer town that a boat was dragging the floating pieces of lumber that were secured by a rope and nails while these were at sea off Esperanza.
“The lumber had come from Samar and about to be transported to Bantayan Island in Cebu when confiscated at 3 p.m. They were cut into sizes 2x6x16 and 2x6x20,” said Santillan.
He said the transport of the lumber was “on and off” as the boat crew were on the look out for maritime police who were on seaborne patrol.
Santillan said the three crew members of the boat, identified as Rolly Flor, Junrey Parinal and Jessie Ancajas, all residents of Barangay Pinya, Samar, were arrested and will be charged with violation of Presidential Decree 705 or the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines.
He said the first truckload of lumber that arrived today in this city are currently being kept at the Provincial Agriculture Office where there is a space to accommodate them before their turnover to the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office.
Santillan said pending a complete inventory, they have yet to estimate the total value of the confiscated lumber but said it could reach up to a million pesos. (PNA) LAP/GVR/NBT/CBD/EDS