Strictly implement the total log ban on “natural forests” — NDFP

If Mr. Aquino is sincere in saving the environment, he must immediately cancel the logging permit of the SUDECOR, and order its unconditional pull-out from CARAGA Region

Spokesperson, NDFP-Mindanao

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Mindanao challenges Mr. Benigno Aquino III to seriously implement Executive Order No. 23, declaring a total log ban on "natural forests."

In the interest of protecting the country's remaining virgin forests, the ban must see to it that the licenses of large logging companies operating in and around water sheds and natural forests must immediately be revoked or cancelled. The operations of these said companies must immediately be ordered to cease and pull out from the area. The reactionary government must, on the other hand, provide viable alternative livelihood for all the workers in the field who have been hired by these companies.

In Mindanao, large logging companies continue to operate within, near and around water sheds and natural forest in the following ranges: (a) the Diwata Mountain Range in Caraga; (b) the Kalatungan-Kitanglad (Pantaron) Range in Bukidnon; (c) in Compostela Valley Province; (d) in Daguma Range in South Cotabato-Sultan Kudarat boundary; and in (e) Malindang, Zambo Norte.

One such company operating inside "natural forest" areas is the Surigao Development Corp. (SUDECOR), which is owned by the Puyat family. Their destructive operations cover the watershed areas and virgin forest in the boundaries of Agusan del Sur-Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Norte-Surigao del Sur. The SUDECOR is one of the remaining biggest and most destructive logging companies in the Caraga region. It employs the destructive bulldozer-dragging method in its operations.

If the government is sincere in saving the environment, Mr. Aquino must immediately cancel the logging permit of the SUDECOR, and order its unconditional pull-out from Caraga.

The revolutionary movement is committed to stop these plunderous and destructive logging, mining and large scale plantations of the comprador bourgeois and the imperialist companies. We will continue to launch military punitive actions against these said companies to prevent them from establishing their business, disband, or punish those that do not abide with our revolutionary policies. In particular, we will continue to launch military actions against SUDECOR, DOLEPHIL and other such companies that refuse to recognize and respect revolutionary policies, particularly on environmental protection.

We again call, as we have been calling for so many years now, on the workers and dependents of the SUDECOR logging company to shift to other sources of living so that we can once and for all stop the destruction of our remaining virgin forests in Caraga region.

Let us all unite for the continued defence of our natural resources and the environment!