HOT LOGS. Members of the BARMM environment office do an inventory of seized forest products of the Lauan variety abandoned in a sawmill during an operation by Marines and police in Barangay Nabalawag, Barira, Maguindanao on Sunday (Oct. 2, 2022). The seized forest products (inset) have an estimated value of PHP1.6 million. (Photo courtesy of MBLT-5)

COTABATO CITY – A Philippine Marines team barred the transport of PHP1.6 million worth of illegally cut forest products in Barira, Maguindanao, on Sunday night.

Maj. Melchor Gonzaludo,  Marine Battalion Landing Team 5 (MBLT-5) head, said the operation that led to the recovery of 20,748 board feet of forest products came after they received a tip on the operation of an illegal sawmill in the area.

“MBLT-5 along with Barira police and personnel of the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MENRE-BARMM), immediately conducted an operation in Sitio Bulubudtua, Barangay Nabalawag, Barira, Maguindanao,” Gonzaludo said in a statement Monday.

The operation resulted in the confiscation of assorted sizes of red and white Lauan lumber, two chainsaws, and a heavy-duty bandsaw abandoned by the owner and operators.

The forest products believed to be cut from the forest of Barira are now in the custody of MBLT-5 and will be transported to the MENRE-BARMM office. (PNA)