COTABATO CITY — Bangsamoro Director General (BDG) Atty. Badr E. Salendab chairs the MENRE Regional Administrative Adjudication Proceeding of the 5,748 board feet of Lauan species forest products apprehended last 13 March 2022 in Brgy. Bagua 1, Cotabato City.

The Regional Administrative Adjudication Committee (RAAC), chaired by BDG Salendab and Vice-Chaired by Forest Management Services (FMS) Director Abdul-Jalil S. Umngan, held an adjudication proceeding for the seized forest products on 28 April 2022. The Lauan species were subsequently found to have no supporting legal documents, which violates Section 68 of Presidential Decree 705 or the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines.

The case also violates existing MENRE existing rules and regulations and Section 60 of Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act No. 161 s.2002, punishing “any person who shall cut, gather, collect, or remove timber or other forest products from any forestland, or timber from alienable or disposable public land or from private land whose title has no limitation on the disposition of forest products found therein, without any authority under a license agreement, lease, license or permit.”

The abandoned forest products, specifically 153 pieces of lumber with a volume of 5,748 board feet, were located and apprehended by Patrol Officer Bajunaid A. Dima. These are currently under the temporary custody of the Community ENRE Office 1st District for safekeeping purposes.

Pursuant to DENR Administrative Order No. 97-32 or the “1997 Rules for the Administrative Adjudication of Illegal Forest Products and the Machinery, Equipment, Tools, and Conveyances Used in Connection Therewith”, the MENRE held the adjudication proceeding to exercise its administrative jurisdiction over the seized forest products.

To expedite the issuance of confiscation order as per Memorandum Order No. 03 series of 2019 for apprehended forest products with a volume above 5,000 board feet or 11.80 cubic meters, the RAAC was created and is composed of the BDG as the Chairperson; FMS Director as the Vice-Chairperson; and the Chiefs of Legal and Legislative Division, Forest Protection and Law Enforcement Division and the concerned Provincial ENRE Officer as members.

As agreed, the RAAC will recommend to MENRE Minister Akmad A. Brahim that the apprehended forest products on 13 March will be confiscated in favor of the government.