Press Release
March 7, 2023

March 07, 2023

Una sa lahat ay maraming salamat kay Chair Nancy at sa Committee on Tourism sa pagdinig sa mga resolusyon tungkol sa ilang mga kaganapan sa Masungi Georeserve. When I filed Senate Resolution 231, it was out of concern that a group of armed men was settled along the highway within the vicinity of the Masungi conservation site. This concern is by and large informed by a violent incident a year before that saw two (2) forest park rangers being shot. Kukan Maas was shot in the neck, and Melvin Akmad in the head. We should all be thankful that they survived.

They might not have suffered from any debilitating physical injury but the psychological and mental trauma this experience brings is immense. This incident once again shines a light on the dangers faced by our forest guards who regularly suffer from harassment and intimidation for reporting and stopping illegal activities inside conservation areas. And in fact Madam Chair, doon sa position paper ng DENR sinabi po nila that in the earnest pursuit of their duty, 13 DENR personnel have been killed in the line of duty within the last six years. So, threats to their lives are real.

With this in mind, alongside the matter of the Bureau of Corrections and its plans within Masungi, it would serve us well to be reminded that people and our rich natural environment are our country's invaluable resources. And Masungi, as the Chair has pointed out, part of the Upper Marikina watershed, helps in regulating waterflow, provides a natural defense against typhoons, and helps prevent catastrophic flooding.

Ang bigyang proteksyon ang magigiting na bantay ng ating kagubatan, ang bigyang proteksyon si Inang Kalikasan, ito ang hamon sa atin ngayong umaga. Bilang mga nagpapahalaga sa kapakanan ng ating mga kababayan at ng kalikasan, huwag sana natin silang biguin.

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