PARANAS, Samar – Government troops will not only ensure a peaceful province but its forest products protected by nefarious individuals. This was vowed by Colonel Leo Cirunay, commanding officer of the 801st Infantry Brigade which is based in Hinabangan, also in Samar. Recently, soldiers under his brigade joined an anti-illegal operation conducted by the local police of Paranas and a team from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in this town. The operation resulted for the seizure of the composite team of 600 board feet of illegally cut logs strewn along the Ulot River at the vicinity of Barangay Tenani and sitio Campo Uno, Brgy. San Isidro. The seized logs were turned over to DENR for proper disposition. “It is our mandate to arrest and file charges against those violators of the law and ensure they be made to answer for their actions in coordination with the other law enforcement agencies,” Cirunay said Meanwhile, the DENR will continue to strictly enforce Executive Order (EO) 23, which declares a moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber in natural and residual forests nationwide. The intensified anti-illegal logging operations of the military and police are part of a campaign to save the Samar forests against poachers who proliferate in the province. Illegal logging remains to be a top concern of Samar which has reported activities in its protected forest covers as well as its watersheds. (JAZMIN BONIFACIO)