Press Release
January 2, 2013

Legarda denounces murder of environment officer

Senator Loren Legarda denounced in strongest possible terms the murder of a community environment and natural resources officer (CENRO) in Nagtipunan, Quirino shortly after midnight on January 1.

"According to reports, forester Alfredo Almueda was gunned down when he responded to a tip that a truckload of illegal lumber will be transported out of his area of responsibility in Quirino province. This is a disheartening act of cowardice, and those responsible must be made to answer for their actions. Furthermore, I call on local governments, especially in provinces plagued by rampant illegal logging, to heighten their efforts in ensuring the security of our hardworking environment officers," she said.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and founder of Luntiang Pilipinas, underscored the link between illegal logging to disasters caused by natural hazards in the country.

"We know that the disaster in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan in 2011 was related to the massive illegal logging operations that exacerbated the effect of typhoon Sendong. Thus, protecting our forests and wetlands in order to enhance the capacity of the environment to withstand extreme weather disturbances is a must across the country," she stressed.

"We need to examine our weakness in governance, especially our poor implementation of our environmental laws and the persistence of illegal logging. The forces that threaten our people and the development of our country must be met with resolute dedication and sustainable solutions. Strong political will at the national and local levels can help bring about the big change we want to see," Legarda concluded.

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