Issue of August 11, 2019
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Baguio starts investigation on ‘murder’ of trees in private lot
by PNA release

Mayor Benjamin Magalong has ordered the inspection of “dead trees,” which were requested to be cut to assure that these were not intentionally killed.

Magalong ordered the inspection of the trees as the city government has filed a case for the intentional killing of 45 pine trees by an establishment.

“We have to see. That incident triggered the awareness that it is not only happening on that lot because where will they get an idea that such is possible? All the dead trees covered by requests for cutting will be subjected to physical inspection to assure that they were not intentionally killed,” Magalong said.

Two weeks ago, the mayor led an inspection team composed of officials of the City Environment and Parks Management Office (Cepmo) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources at a vacant private property on Legarda Road where all grown trees have turned brown.

The inspection was the result of a tip from a concerned citizen on the alleged intentional killing of the trees.

During the inspection, the team found that the trunk of the trees was bored with holes and a chemical substance was injected, causing the trees to die.

With the discovery, Magalong has ordered his men to make an inventory and submit a list of trees on public land that need to be cut for further investigation.

“The order is to assure that requests for cutting off dead trees first undergo inspection by officials from the Cepmo, Cenro (City Environment and Natural Resources Office), and the mayor’s office to determine if there is human intervention in the death of the trees,” said Benjie Macadangdang, the mayor’s assistant-in-charge of the barangays.

He said that the mayor’s order also empowers the barangay officials, making their participation more important in environmental protection.

Macadangdang said they will also look into the condition of trees on construction areas to assure that they are not also intentionally killed to give way to development.

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