Police team intercepts van loaded with narra
posted 10-Mar-2019  ·  
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Two persons were arrested by the police in Virac after a joint operation led to the interception of a utility van loaded with undocumented narra lumber.

According to the office of Catanduanes police provincial director Senior Superintendent Paul Abay, joint elements of the Virac police, the Catanduanes Criminal Investigation and Detection Team (CIDT) led by SPO2 Virgilio Cornelio, the Highway Patrol Group and the 1st Catanduanes Police Mobile Force Company, all under the supervision of Senior Inspector Ariel Buraga, officer-in-charge of Virac MPS,  flagged down the Toyota Hi-Ace van in front of the Catanduanes State University (CSU) compound at 1:45 A.M. of March 1, 2019.

A search of the van turned up three sets of narra panel door and door jambs being transported to a still unknown destination, prompting the police team to arrest Romeo Magtangob, 46, of Sta. Ana, Panganiban, and Ronnel Capistrano, 32, of Suchan, Bagamanoc. The vehicle they were using was found to be registered to one Ma. Kristine A. Velasco.

A case for violation of Presidential Decree 705 and related forest laws is being prepared for filing against the suspects.

Three days earler, joint elements of the CIDT, Bagamanoc police, HPG and DENR personnel led by Sofio Cabrera and under the supervision of Capt. Joseph Valle was conducting a joint operation against illegal logging in Suchan at 5 P.M. of Feb. 26 when they chanced upon an unfinished banca at a vacant lot in front of a house.

Ownership of the wooden vessel, about a meter in breadth and 10.5 meter in length, was claimed by the house owner, fisherman Efren Celestino, 54, who failed to present any proof as to the legality of the lumber used in the construction of the banca.

A case for violation of forest laws has been filed against him before the Provincial Prosecution Office.

On the same day at 1:30 P.M., personnel of the Provincial Intelligence Bureau, the 1st PMFC and the Virac police caught tricycle driver Leo Custodio, 41, and construction worker Romeo Barba, 45, both of San Vicente, in the act of cutting narra lumber using an undocumented chainsaw.

The police confiscated the Stihl chainsaw with defaced serial number and eight pieces of narra lumber with a total volume of 58.91 board feet and estimated market value of P5,891.

In Viga town,  a resident of barangay Roxas eluded arrest when he jumped into a river to escape lawmen who had flagged down his top-down tricycle hat was loaded with sawn lumber last Feb. 25.

Joint elements of the town police and the 2nd PMFC supervised by Lt. Benjamin Reonal chanced upon the vehicle driven by Charlie Tomes, 40, at 9:30 A.M.

When the police flagged him down, Tomes alighted from the tricycle, ran fast towards a nearby cliff and jumped into the river, escaping towards an unknown destination. He left behind 24 pieces of 2x2 lumber of unknown specie as well as the Euro tricycle without plate number. A case for violation of PD 705 has been filed against him before the PPO.

Less than eight hours earlier in Cavinitan, Virac, barangay captain Matthea Tablizo and tanod Efren Matienzo turned over to the police Ronnie Abundo, 37, and Sammy Melgar, 22, both of Buyo, who were nabbed in possession of 10 pieces of 2x3 lumber being transporred on board a motorcycle.

    In Gigmoto, a carpenter from Sioron was nabbed by elements of the town police and the 2nd PMFC last Feb. 23 for possession of an unregistered Stihl chainsaw. Rolly Tumalin, 44, was charged before the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Baras-Gigmoto and subsequently posted bail of P36,000.

    A day earlier, personnel of the Virac police and 1st PMFC led by Senior Inspector Jonnel Averilla chanced upon laborer Jolito Quintal Jr., 23, while transporting a narra flitch with a volume of 80 board feet at barangay Sogod-Tibgao BLISS. Also recovered in the area were nine flitches of narra, with a volume of 45 board feet, apparently abandoned by its owner.

    In sitio Maslog, Dariao, Caramoran, the town police and the CIDT joined hands in arresting Janito Realda, Arnulfo dela Rosa and Joseph Bueno who were in possession of a chainsaw and 30 flitches of undocumented narra lumber last Feb. 22.

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