MANILAThe National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Tuesday announced the arrest of eight persons for "developing" protected inalienable mangroves and forest lands into a residential subdivision in Lapu-Lapu City,Cebu.
Speaking to reporters, NBI-Environmental Crime Division chief Cezar Nugui said they will also look into the possible liability of local officials who allowed the developer, Pueblo De Oro Development Corporation, to obtain titles to the protected environmental areas.
Up to 23 hectares of forest lands and wetlands covered with lush mangrove forest were being converted by the developer and had already pre-sold units in Barangay Babag, Lapu-Lapu City Cebu.
Nugui said there will be a reversion of titles if any were issued to the buyers of the protected land which by law cannot be converted.
Arrested were Head Engineer Roleda Benjamin Yu, Engineer Charlie Sumalpong and operators of the heavy earthmoving equipment which were being used to dump materials into the forest land to convert it to residential lots to be called the Pueblo De Oro Cebu Subdivision.
The arrested persons face charges of violations of Rep. Act No. 10654 (Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998) and the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines before the municipal trial court of Lapu-Lapu City. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency