MANILA, DECEMBER 17, 2012 (INQUIRER) ON TARGET By Ramon Tulfo - WHY IS the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) not moving against the people responsible for illegal logging in the mountains of Baganga and Cateel towns in Davao Oriental province?

The answer is simple: DENR issued permits to influential people, such as politicians, who abused the privilege and cut down trees not covered by the permits.

If it were not for super Typhoon “Pablo,” the greed of these people would not have been exposed.

Ask anybody in Davao Oriental who they are and they will tell you.

And since the DENR does not want to identify them, I am now taking the liberty of identifying them: Davao Oriental Rep. Nelson Dayanghirang (1st District); Gov. Corazon Malanyaon and her brother, Cateel Mayor Camilo Nunez.

I am making the accusation based on my own investigation by calling up responsible friends and relatives in Davao Oriental who vouched for the veracity of the accusations.

I have concluded that the persons I am accusing here are guilty of the serious imputations against them.

* * *

With the exposé, I’m sure to lose the friendships of Dayanghirang and Malanyaon.

I may even incur libel suits from Dayanghirang, Malanyaon and Nunez.

Dayanghirang used to be the mayor of my hometown Manay, which is two towns away from Baganga which is adjacent to Cateel.

Malanyaon, on the other hand, is a close friend of my sister Wanda.

But this is not about friendship. It’s about moral rectitude which is expected of public officials like Dayanghirang and Malanyaon.

I would rather lose friends than become unworthy of my journalism profession which espouses truth.

* * *

The logs in the mountains of Baganga and Cateel rolled down the bald mountainside, floated on the swollen rivers at the height of Typhoon Pablo, and rammed into houses that were in the way of rampaging floodwaters.

Hundreds of lives were lost because of those logs.

Dayanghirang, Malanyaon and Nunez should be made to answer for their untimely deaths.

* * *

Whoever turned down the US government offer to lend its military helicopters for rescue and relief operations in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley should be held responsible for the prolonged suffering and possibly some deaths of the victims of “Pablo.”

A government official was quoted as saying, “kaya ng choppers natin ’yan (our choppers can do it alone).”

A week after our old Air Force helicopters started to conk out, our government admitted the need for big US choppers to ferry food, medicine and medical personnel to the battered areas.

Such statements of hypocrisy and kayabangan (braggadocio) on the part of our government were made at the expense of the suffering Pablo victims.

That official should be buried alive with the drowning victims!

* * *

The Banco de Oro (BDO) management has reacted to an item in this space Thursday about a client whose signature on her withdrawal slip was not honored by the bank because it thought the signature was forged.

Candida Espinoza, 77, died a few days after she signed the withdrawal slip so she could have money to pay for her hospitalization and medicines.

But now that she’s dead, how can her relatives pay her hospitalization and funeral expenses?

According to Paquito Vista, BDO public relations officer, the bank will honor the P500,000 withdrawal, it will pay for both funeral and burial expenses, Vista said.

BDO already paid Espinoza’s hospital bills, in reaction to Thursday’s column.

The SM Group of Companies, to which BDO belongs, is indeed walking its talk in reaching out to the public.

Illegal logging caused floods By Ramon Tulfo Philippine Daily Inquirer 2:26 am | Thursday, December 13th, 2012 4 136 72


When Typhoon “Pablo” struck, the illegally cut logs on the mountains of Baganga and Cateel towns in Davao Oriental province crashed into the bald mountain slope, floated on the swollen river, bulldozed houses on the riverbanks and rammed into bridges.

Baganga and Cateel have been isolated from the rest of the country because all the bridges leading to the two towns have been destroyed.


Some people should pay for illegally cutting down the trees in the mountains of Baganga and Cateel.

Most of the masterminds are politicians, a congressman, a governor and a mayor, among them.

Secretary Ramon Paje of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources knows who they are.

If he doesn’t, then he’s tanga.

“Innocent” is the closest meaning in English of the Filipino word, but it doesn’t match the full impact of what it means.

So Mr. Paje, the innocent, please investigate. You must know who the illegal loggers are, Mr. Paje!

* * *

Angelito Banayo, the resigned head of the National Food Authority (NFA), is being invited by the Senate to answer charges that he “favored” rice importers over domestic farmers.

Simeon Sioson of 4SM Agri Venture Multi-Purpose Cooperative has accused Banayo of being biased for rice importers when he was NFA administrator.

Sioson made the charges against Banayo in a Senate executive session.

My source in the rice import business confirms Sioson’s accusation of Banayo.

“Kumita ng bilyon si Banayo noong nasa NFA siya (Banayo earned a billion pesos while he was with the NFA),” claimed my source.

Banayo resigned after filing his certificate of candidacy for the House of Representatives.

If it’s true that he earned that much money when he was NFA chief, he’s sure of winning.

Banayo has struck this writer as a clean and honest guy, believing in his self-proclaimed virtue.

With Sioson’s accusation, I’m withholding my initial perception of Banayo’s integrity until he proves his innocence at the Senate investigation.

* * *

Candida Espinoza, 77, fell while she was in the bathroom on Dec. 7.

She was in extreme pain two days later and asked to be taken to Las Piñas Doctors Hospital.

Anticipating huge hospital expenses, she signed a withdrawal slip for P500,000 to be taken from her account with Banco de Oro (BDO) Talon branch in Las Piñas.

The BDO cashier didn’t honor the withdrawal slip, saying her signature didn’t match the one in their file.

An argument ensued between the BDO cashier and Espinoza’s daughter, Marilou Biala, on one hand, and her sister, Corazon Espinoza-Artista, on the other.

Artista said that since Espinoza was in pain, the strokes of her signature had changed.

To end the argument, Artista, a former bank manager herself, asked the cashier if she could talk with the manager, Jo Ann Sembrano.

Artista would have suggested to Sembrano to accompany them to the hospital so the bank could confirm with Espinoza herself if she had signed the withdrawal slip.

But Sembrano was in a meeting and could not be disturbed.

Candida Espinoza died at 2:50 a.m. Wednesday due to complications from the fall.

Her relatives don’t know where to get the money to pay for her hospital stay and funeral.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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