Mayor Benjamin Magalong found a clump of 45 fully grown Benguet pine trees which were ‘murdered’ on one of his inspections. The trees were located on a vacant lot along Legarda Road and seemingly died due to “poisonous or toxic substances.” Magalong swore to find the perpetrators and file the appropriate charges against them.
The trees are believed to have been ‘killed’ due to the presence of holes towards the bottom of the tree. The Forest and Watershed Management Division of the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO)’s report stated that “the holes were utilized to infuse poisonous or toxic substance destroying and killing the trees immediately.” It also noted that there were no traces of infestation by Ips Calligraphus, ruling out natural causes for the deaths.
Magalong made assurances that he and officials were “just waiting for the chemical analysis from the [Department of the Environment and Natural Resources] on the particular substance used to kill the trees.” Once received Magalong plans to complain of violations against Presidential Decree 705. For him, “I wish there is a harsher penalty for torture and ‘murder’ of our trees.”
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