Forest rangers seek justice for slain co-worker

MANILA Co-workers of a slain forest ranger in El Nido, Palawan are seeking justice for his murder, asking authorities to capture his killers who were allegedly illegal loggers.

Bienvinido Toto Veguilla Jr.'s friends have taken to social media their grief on the loss of the team leader of the law enforcement team of El Nido-Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area (ENTMRPA).

Ludybeth Nangkil, former legal counsel for Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in El Nido-Taytay, attested to Veguilla's dedication to work as posted on a video shared on Facebook.

I have seen your love and dedication to your work. Big salute to you for the time and bravery you have given to protect nature, she said.

Some of them also started raising the bounty for the capture of his killers.

Edgardo Galeon, in a comment on Facebook, urged DENR- Mimaropa to post their contact number and bank details so people who want to help can deposit their donations.

Marami ng biktima mula pa noon nasa Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula) kami. Dapat magkaisa tayo. Huwag patulog tulog (There have been many victims already when I was still in Region 9. We should unite. We should not be complacent), he added.

Another co-worker, Ernesto Diso also voice out his sentiment, saying Veguilla's death is another wake-up call.

During my K4 stint, I have been lobbying for the grant of hazard pay, insurance, and protective equipment for our forest rangers and also other field personnel involved in forest protection, he said.

In a report, Veguilla was hacked to death on Wednesday afternoon by a group of unidentified illegal loggers whose chainsaw were earlier confiscated by the group of Veguilla.

DENR-Mimaropa regional executive director Henry Adornado said Veguilla's team was on regular monitoring patrol in the area of Sitio Kinawagan, Barangay PasadeAa when his group encountered the illegal loggers, accosted them, and confiscated their chainsaw.

Noong pauwi na sila, along the way may nadaanan silang mga nag-cha-chainsaw, nagpo-power saw na mga timber poachers so hinuli nila. Dinala nila 'yong power saw (On their way home, they caught men cutting timbers with a power saw. They confiscated the power saw), Adornado said in the interview.

Adornado said on their way back, the group of illegal loggers ran after Veguilla's team that fled from the area.

However, the suspects were able to catch up with Veguilla and hacked him on the back and on the head.

An initial report filed by the El Nido police identified a certain Cardo Fulgencio as one of the six possible suspects.

Authorities are still investigating the case. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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