TWO suspects in the recent burning of the Provincial Government's 50-hectare reforestation project in Barangay Minoyan, Murcia were identified, said an official.
The problem, however, is that witnesses are afraid to come forward and issue their statements identifying the suspects because the suspects are reportedly armed, said Superintendent Armando Tubongbanua, Task Force Ilahas head.
The suspects, whose identities are withheld for the meantime pending the official statement of witnesses, are also informal settlers in the area.
Tubongbanua said he already invited the suspects for questioning but, as expected, they denied having anything to do with the burning.
He said he is getting other witnesses to come up with an affidavit so that the suspects can be arrested and held liable for the crime they committed.
Tubongbanua also said that based on their investigation, the motive of the suspects was reportedly discontentment on the way the project is being managed in the area.
However, Tubongbanua said this is not a valid reason for the suspects to burn the project.
They could have aired their concerns to proper authorities rather than destroy the reforestation project, which would again entail more expenses on the part of the Provincial Government, he said.
The estimated damage cause by the fire was P1.8 million.