Cimatu warns public vs fake DENR employees targeting mining, logging firms


QUEZON CITY, Feb. 15 — Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has warned the public against unscrupulous individuals who are posing as employees of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

This was after the DENR discovered a group of persons ‬in Surigao del Sur using the name of the agency in conducting unauthorized operations against logging and mining companies in the province.

“We do not condone the use of the name of our Department in any transaction without prior knowledge and consent of any DENR official,” Cimatu said. “We want to warn the general public ‬to ‬‬be ‬‬more ‬‬cautious ‬in ‬dealing ‬with ‬people ‬who claim to ‬be ‬employees of ‬the Department.”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Cimatu warned that anyone or any group who will try to use the name of the DENR for illegal operations will be made liable to the full extent of the law.

“We will make sure that these people will face the legal repercussions of committing such misconduct,” Cimatu stressed.

Based on the report of the DENR in Caraga region, nine‬ individuals who introduced themselves as members of a DENR task force were arrested by the Carrascal Municipal Police in Surigao del Sur on January 27.‬‬

The ‬individuals ‬had conducted two unauthorized ‬operations ‬against logging ‬and mining companies in Surigao del Sur, where they were able to present a letter bearing DENR’s logo and signed by one of them who posed as leader of the group.‬‬‬‬

They also had shirts with DENR logo and identification cards bearing the signature of several DENR officials, including Cimatu.

Arrested by authorities were Francisco Dagohoy, Arnel Arniego, Roberto Don, Jr., Junie Duero, Melbert Pami, Rogelio Lismoner, Bon Jovi Arreza, Joaquin Lumapguid, and Elma Talip.

The Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Cantilan town was able to secure a document from the group that said the individuals were part of the Moral Advancement and Corruption Prevention Advocacy, an organization that allegedly advocates ‬the eradication of graft ‬and corrupt activities.‬

CENRO Marslou Bonita stressed that they have not deputized the group to ‬enforce ‬existing ‬ environmental laws. (DENR)