The trees including centuries old, big and small alike, are within the protected area of Mount Mantalingajan and is also the source of potable water distributed to 5 villages.
The said incident happened days after the rejection of the appointment of former DENR Secretary, Gina Lopez by the Commission on Appointments.
Feliciano reported that she was banned by the mining company from entering the area and had asked the Marines to accompany her, since the policemen and government officials refused to join her because of threats throwned against them.
8 chainsaw wielders have been arrested while some of their companions were able to flee. However, the local government has already filed cases against them, including petition pursuing removal of license to operate of their mining company.
Former DENR Secretary Gina Lopez came to the area and has expressed her disappointment and described it as “disgusting”.
Meanwhile, her successor Roy Cimatu pledged that he will look into the logging activities within the said area.
The occurrence of this act has left questions on the minds of every Filipino. Why this didn’t happen during the 10-month stay of former DENR Sec Gina Lopez in office? Did this happen because mining companies have regained their power due to the unconfirmed appointment of Ms. Gina Lopez? Is Gina Lopez a threat to mining companies?
But above all, the bigger problem that we have to face is this…. How long can rehabilitation take place for trees a century old?