Aurora, Quirino to set up joint checkpoints vs illegal loggers

By Jason de Asis


BALER, Aurora, November 19, 2010–The provincial governments of Aurora and Quirino will set up a joint checkpoint to check the passage of vehicles loaded with “hot logs” and illegally possessed  forest products.


Gov. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo said that Quirino Gov. Junie Cua assured her that a joint checkpoint in the territorial boundaries of the two provinces will be operationalized to clamp down on truckloads coming from Quirino.


“I told Governor Cua that there are many trucks that sneak into the Aurora checkpoint from Quirino so he said that let’s work together and set a common chechkpoint,” Angara-Castillo said during a meeting of Task Force Sagip Kalikasan in Casiguran.


At the same time, Angara-Castillo directed Aurora provincial police director, Senior Supt. Rosvi Manulid to check reports that pass cards are being carried by drivers of trucks and other vehicles which are signed by policemen manning checkpoints where they are later allowed to pass.


The governor issued the directive after Christopher Usita of the Noble Blue Falcons International informed the task force officers that pass cards were issued by the PNP to vehicles passing Barangay Villa in Ma. Aurora town, including those loaded with coconut lumber which is banned in the province.


The governor confronted Manulid on the existence of the pass cards, saying these were issued without her knowledge. “You have your own Republic PD,” she said.


Manulid said he was unaware of the existence of the cards. He said he will check with his field men.


He said the pass cards may have been the same cards issued by the PNP when he was still the chief of operations of the Camp Olivas-based PNP regional office wherein drivers are issued a pass which they show to policemen manning checkpoints in every municipality that they pass to indicate their place of origin and destination, the name of the driver and the goods his vehicle was carrying.


He said the pass cards were issued to stem the tide of hijackings of vehicles in the region.


Angara-Castillo said, however, that the PNP cannot possibly certify something they do not know. She asked Manulid to provide her a list of lawmen manning the checkpoints in the province.


The governor also grilled Manulid for reinstating a policeman who was earlier sacked by his predecessor, Senior Supt. Romulo Esteban for allegedly smuggling “hot logs.” The policeman was later identified as PO3 Jerwin Atayde.


Manulid said he had no personal knowledge of Atayde’s involvement in illegal logging because he was only new in his post.


“You may be new in your post but you don’t have concern,” the governor told Manulid. (Jason de Asis)