President Rodrigo Dugerte has ordered the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to suspend several logging concessions in Zamboanga Peninsula, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the decision was reached during a Cabinet meeting Monday afternoon.
“The President also ordered several logging concessions in Zamboanga Peninsula to be suspended,” Roque said in a press briefing.
“This after he was apprised of concerns of indigenous populations that they have been displaced by logging operations of some companies. And he also observed that it is widespread logging that is responsible for the flashfloods that Mindanao experienced only this month of December with two typhoons,” Roque added.
In a Facebook post, Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said Duterte was “angry” when he gave the instruction to Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.
Duterte, according to Piñol, watched a five-minute video of the “deforested portion of the Zamboanga mountain range.”
“Roy, ipasara mo ‘yan. Hindi naman maghihirap ‘yan si Consunji kasi Oligarch na ‘yan,” Piñol quoted Duterte as saying.