BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya—Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu said they are contemplating to arm foresters in the country to defend themselves even as environmental advocates urged him to muster the will to address the adverse impacts of destructive mining.
“I don’t want anyone being killed or shot like the one which happened in Palawan where one of our foresters was shot,” he said yesterday during his visit at the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office within the provincial capitol compound in this town.
Cimatu, accompanied by key directors of DENR Central Office made visits to the PENROs and Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices in Cagayan Valley over the weekend.
He also advised DENR foresters doing frontline services to temporarily skip their assigned tasks in the conflict zone of upland Kasibu town where police and military operations are being conducted after a recent encounter between government soldiers and New Peoples Army rebels.
Meanwhile, Edgar Maranan, a scientist and biotechnologist of Tayo Kalikasan Movement, called out Cimatu to have the determination to adopt mining solutions that are environmentally sustainable while environment rehabilitation is not yet in its “point of no return.”