DENR-CAR, La Trinidad and claimants agree on status quo within Puguis

DENR-CAR, La Trinidad and claimants agree on status quo within Puguis

 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-CAR, the Municipal Government of La Trinidad and land claimants led by Mr. Pedro Isican have agreed to maintain status quo within the Puguis communal forest. 

This means that ongoing activities such as clearing, construction of illegal structures and illegal tree cutting should be stopped and no new developments should be introduced.

While the agreement was verbal, the parties agreed to seek for a formal status quo order from the court.

A status quo order was sought to ensure peace and order and prevent further destruction and encroachment in the area while awaiting for ongoing legal cases to be resolved. 

The status quo is a result of a dialogue on January 12 where the different parties expressed their stand and tried to reconcile issues relative to the Puguis communal forest.

One of the issues discussed during the meeting was the cancellation of a land title named under Evaristo Tiotioen covering 9.2757 hectares within the communal forest and the reversion of its classification into forestland. 

The title issued to Tiotioen was a subject of a case filed before the Regional Trial Court in the past which was annulled. Subsequently, the Land Registration Authority issued a title named under the Republic in the Philippines in 2011.

Apart from the earlier-mentioned, three lots with land areas of 41,541 square meters; 123,938 square meters (Lot 1); and 56,566 square meters (Lot 2) are also being claimed by the heirs of Tiotioen. Their claims over Lot 1 and 2 are being contested making them subjects of pending cases before the Court of Appeals.

While awaiting for court decisions on the legal cases, the DENR-CAR through Regional Director Ralph Pablo and La Trinidad Legal Officer Atty. Jennifer Fianza insisted that the Puguis communal forest remains a forestland which should be preserved and protected against any activity that poses destruction.

“Let us let the Court decide on these matters. For the meantime, we hope that all parties adhere to the agreed status quo,” Pablo said.

In addition to the DENR-CAR’s forest guards and rangers, the Police Regional Office-Cordillera and the Philippine National Police in La Trinidad have committed to deploy a mobile group which shall assist in monitoring and ensuring that no further developments are conducted within the forest and no person, apart from the existing occupants, encroaches the area.

Early December last year, the DENR-CAR filed a case against land claimants within the Puguis communal forest for disregard and violation of existing laws by building permanent and temporary structures and illegally cutting trees in the area. |GJNFontanilla

News

The secret chamber of the sky blue Isuzu elf

 

Among the type of vehicles, the Truck or elf has the simplest design, wherein the back part has only its sidings and flooring.

During the first week September. the PNP personnel headed by Police Chief Inspector Jose G. Mulleda while in the performance of their duty at Callagdao Check point, Bulanao, Tabuk City checked the vehicles that pass by. When the Isuzu elf, sky blue and with galvanized body bearing plate number TGS 985 passed by and driven allegedly by a certain Duga Bucalan from Paracelis Mt. Province and his two companions, the PNP purposely checked the said elf.  They noticed that the flooring of the elf was slightly lifted with undetermined volume of sawn Narra flitches underneath.         

It was found out that the elf has a secret chamber. The chamber contains 47 pieces of Narra with a total volume of 747 board feet amounting to 55,988. The said specie is properly covered with GI flat sheet gauge 14 and welded with angle bar on its side. This also served as the flooring for the second layer.

In order to unload the said content of the elf, the police officers needed to use a crow bar to remove the cover.

The second layer was loaded with several empty fruit baskets which were made out of plastic which also look like cases of soft drinks. One plastic crate was filled with empty bottles of mineral water.

The simple design of the vehicle was really redesigned and intended to transport undocumented forest products.

The opposite sidings of the elf have built-in benches out of GI flat sheet and angle bar. Between the two benches is the space where they can pile such volume of lumber and properly covered with the said flat sheet which serves as the flooring of the second layer.

The Lumber was officially turned over to CENRO Tabuk Office. By virtue of the seizure order issued by CENR Officer Severino L. Dalutag, the administrative hearing of the case commenced in September 14, 2017.   The said vehicle is now impounded within the premises  of CENRO Tabuk.|C. Tabuk, SBBakidan

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