BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines - – Illegal logging syndicates could be behind last week’s murder of a female forester in Cagayan, police said yesterday.
Chief Superintendent Rodrigo de Gracia, Cagayan Valley police director, said an illegal logging syndicate whose shipment of illegal logs from Cagayan was intercepted in Ilocos Norte recently, could have masterminded the killing of Melania Dirain of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) community environment and natural resources office in Sanchez Mira town.
Reports showed that Dirain had a hand in the confiscation of some 20,000 board feet of hot logs from Cagayan.
“We are contacting our sources in the Ilocos region who may possibly give information leading to the (gunman’s) identity (and the brains behind the killing),” De Gracia said.
DENR regional executive director Benjamin Tumaliuan and the other regional officials earlier said they believe that the killing was job-related.
Tumaliuan said at least three cases of illegal logging had been filed since Dirain assumed office last Jan. 1.
Meanwhile, Tumaliuan said his office has raised a reward for anyone who could identify the killer, based on the video footage taken by a closed-circuit television camera installed at Dirain’s office.
Dirain was shot by a man who barged into her office at around 8 p.m. while she was talking with a fellow employee.
She suffered bullet wounds in the chest.– Charlie Lagasca, Raymund Catindig