September 29, 2023

Tree marker’s killing spooks DENR men in Agusan Sur


BUTUAN City-Employees at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Agusan del Sur have expressed serious concerns over the recent shooting of their fellow worker last Thursday, fearing the killing could have something to do with his work as a tree marker. Last Feb. 23, at around 5:30 am, 46-year old Jaime Diyes was shot dead inside his house in Purok 14, Barangay Poblacion in Bayugan, Agusan de Sur. Diyes was a DENR tree marker in the town of Esperanza. At the Bayugan Medical Hospital, he died while receiving treatment.

CHECKPOINT. A convoy of overloaded trucks transporting Falcata logs at a DENR checkpoint in Nasipit, Agusan del Norte. The logs come from different parts of Agusan del Sur. PHOTO BY ERWIN MASCARINAS

"Jaime was about to have his coffee when the suspect rushed into the house and then shot the victim several times," said SPO1 Melvin Dansanan, investigator of the Bayugan City Police Office. An employee of the forest management office of the DENR who requested not to be named pointed out that the incident has brought concern among workers at the department. "We cannot deny the fact that his death might be workrelated and that the people behind the killing might do the same thing again," said the DENR employee. The Bayugan police is now trying to identify a suspect. It declined to give details due to police reasons. Since 2011, several reports of harassment have been reported by DENR employees in the field.

Authorities and DENR employees have not dismissed speculations that the shooting incident could be due to logging activities in Agusan del Sur and other Caraga places. The last shooting incident involving a DENR employee was in Caraga took place on Jan. 15, 2011. Forest Guard Jacinto Dragas was gunned down by three unidentified men in his house in Bislig, Surigao del Sur. According to the DENR, over 50 DENR employees have been killed all over the country since the '90s.


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