Thursday, January 3, 2013

Philippines anger at logging ban murder

Terra Daily via AFP: The Philippine government has voiced outrage at "ruthless" illegal loggers intent on defying a nationwide ban on destroying forests, following the New Year's Day murder of an environment officer.

Two unidentified men armed with M-16 rifles shot environment department officer Alfredo Almueda in the head as he waited at a forest checkpoint to intercept a truck carrying logs on Tuesday, the government said in a statement.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms the killing of yet another environment officer. We are angered and outraged by the attack," Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said in the statement issued late Wednesday.

Paje said Almueda, 59, was the victim of persistent efforts by illegal loggers to silence "environmental defenders". "This attack clearly demonstrates the ruthlessness of those responsible for the rape and destruction of our forests," Paje said.

Almueda's killing brings to 21 the number of environment department personnel, deputised workers and volunteers who have been killed since a nationwide logging ban was imposed two years ago, according to government data...

A mangrove forest in the Philippines, shot by Seacology, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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