Hinoba-an Fallen Logs: Stoppage of Log Retrieval Questioned
By Eugene Y. Adiong
The lawyer of the private contractor in the retrieval operations of fallen logs in the Wilderness area in Brgy. Damutan, Hinoba-an is questioning the stoppage of operations.
Gov. Alfredo G. Marañon, Jr. and Vice Gov. Eugenio Jose V. Lacson (seated 3rd and 4th from left) with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Members namely, Helen Zafra, Johnna Ko, Renato Gustilo, Pedro Zayco, Jr., Miller Serondo, Rolando Ponsica, Renato Malabor, Raul Rivera, Victor Javellana, and Mark Cui meet at the Governor’s Office after the approval of the 2015 budget for Negros Occidental at the SP session, yesterday. (Capitol photo)
Enrique Tabino, legal counsel of Bernabe Gilbor, president of Supreme ABF Construction and Supply Co., Inc., in a letter to Vilma Limates, community environment and natural resources officer of CENRO-Sipalay, wants the retrieval operations to be continued.
In a letter obtained by Negros Daily Bulletin (NDB) yesterday, Tabino said Gilbor, relative to the Memorandum of Agreement executed by the regional director, provincial government of Negros Occ.l and the Hinoba-an government, was engaged for the retrieval/recovery of fallen and and abandoned timbers in the area.
“...On the basis of his contractual responsibilities my client had to engage the services of the people in the area in the repair and the maintenance of the roads to make it passable and spent considerable amount for the establishment of safety parameters under the closed supervision of the personnel of CENRO-Sipalay,” the letter said.
He added that his client “had recovered a number of truckloads of the fallen and the abandoned timbers and giving the share of the LGU thru its Local School Board, under your office strict supervision and in accordance with the Special Authority to Transport approved and signed by you personally, you suddenly stopped the operation on September 29 through you hand letter addressed to Brgy. Captain Magaro, without informing my client or his authorized representative, Mayor Ernesto Estrao and your direct supervisor the DENR regional Director who were signatories to the MOA, of your decision.”
“Your abrupt termination of the operation greatly affect and prejudice my client who have spent considerable amount, relying in the contract and your participation as government employee in the transport of the fallen and retrieved timber,” Tabino said.
He pointed out that Limates “has no justification... to terminate the contract personally, knowing that the client had not even recovered his investment, worst you denied my client rights to be informed before your decision to terminate the operation.”
“Likewise, the termination of the operation affected the number of people in the said barangay, who were utilized by my client as workers under your office supervision thus minimizing illegal poachers in the area,” he pointed out.
Tabino said that Gilbor has written Limates requesting that “he will continue the retrieval if only to recover his investment.”
The letter, “was not even favored a courtesy of any answer,” he said.
Otherwise, Tabino said, “my client will initiate legal remedies available to my client, like the filing of civil, criminal and administrative cases against those responsible in their personal and official functions as contained in Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees or republic Act 6713.”
“...May I request your favorable actions on this matter within the period of fifteen days from receipt hereof, otherwise I have no other recourse but to file complaints, should you fail to comply with your responsibilities,” he said.
A copy of the letter was furnished to Estrao, provincial environment officer Andres Untal and regional director Jim Sampulna.
When reached for her reaction on the letter by Gilbor’s counsel, Limates told NDB, she has “no comment at the moment.”*