Governor Plaza denies link to Agusan del Sur illegal loggers

BY ROGER M. BALANZA and ESPERIDION TAGABUNLANG

Agusan del Sur Governor Adolph Edward Plaza has vehemently denied any link to illegal logging, saying reports about it could be handiwork of political opponents.
    The late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo could have been fed with wrong information, also said Plaza.
    Plaza also denied having harassed members of the Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force (AILTF). The task force headed by executive director Renato Miranda has been in the news lately for a series of confiscation of illegal logs in the Caraga Region.
    A report said Plaza and several mayors of Agusan del Sur were being investigated for their alleged link to illegal logging by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
    The report on Interaksyon.com said that Illegal loggers, allegedly backed by unscrupulous politicians and influential businessmen, have renewed their operations inside the 51,000-hectare Manobo Agroforestation Complex in Agusan del Sur and other parts of the Caraga region.


    Robredo, before he died in a plane crash in Masbate, reportredly ordered an investigation of the officials including Plaza and several mayors, said Interaksyon.com.
    The illegal loggers are taking advantage of the death of Robredo, said  Manobo chieftain Bae Hawodon Cugbahan Merlyn Tagleong Coguit, leader of the Manobo Council of Elders.        
    The Manobo tribe is the holder of Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claim-132 covering the 51,000-hectare agroforestry area in Agusan del Sur.
    Coguit said the loggers, after the death of Robredo, have returned to the mountains of Barangays Pangyan, Tudela, Sta. Maria, San Ignacio, San Isidro, Cebulin, all of Trento town; and in the forests of Bunawan and Veruela towns.
     

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