The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is investigating claims that its personnel were involved in the illegal sale of land within the Northern Negros Natural Park in Salvador Benedicto town to private individuals, many of whom have built vacation houses.
Those found to be involved will face appropriate sanctions, Butch Marquez, DENR VI technical director for protected areas, told the DAILY STAR yesterday.
Marquez said a DENR team began the investigation two weeks ago and findings have not been submitted yet.
There have been allegations that some DENR personnel have been selling, brokering and facilitating the sale of the land within the NNNP.
DENR VI Regional Executive Director Jim Sampulna ordered a DENR team to look into the allegations.
So far, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Andres Untal has issued cease-and-desist orders against 40 persons, including Salvador Benedicto Mayor Jose Max Ortiz and Murcia Mayor Andrew Montelibano, who have acquired land within the NNNP, to prevent them from further building structures in the area.
Untal said the DENR has added 10 more personnel to its five-man inventory team in Salvador Benedicto, and expects more CDOs to be issued against NNNP occupants.*CPG