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Baguio City mayor promises raps over 'murder' of pine trees.

Baguio City mayor promises raps over 'murder' of pine trees !-- -- Artemio Dumlao ( - August 1, 2019 - 9:58am BAGUIO CITY, Philippines Mayor Benjamin Magalong said "the pine tree torturers and murderers" will be held accountable for at least 45 fully-grown Benguet pine trees that were killed in a vacant lot on Legarda Road last week.

"We are just waiting for the chemical analysis from the [Department of the Environment and Natural Resources] on the particular substance used to kill the trees,"Magalong said days after he and other city officials found the dead trees during a surprise inspection of lot owned by a firm of a prominent family in the city. Officials found that the 45 pine trees were injected with a diluted compound at its base "intentionally to kill it slowly.

" Even government foresters say that pine trees are so sensitive that disturbing its basecould be fatal. Environment chief Roy Cimatu earlier noticed the "balding" mountain city and ordered the Environmentdepartment to work to bring back Baguio's old reputation as the City of Pines.

Magalong said he will lodge complaints of violations of Presidential Decree 705 against all the officers and the Board of Directors of Gateluck Corporation, the registered juridical owner of the property where the 45 dead pine trees were discovered. "I wish there is a harsher penalty for torture and 'murder'of our trees," he added.

Magalong, a former police official, also dispelled insinuations that he had already smoothed things over with the Lao family that owns Gateluck. "I never talked to anyone in that company.

And I do not have any intention of talking with them.I would like to see them in court," he said.

The Lao family, which also owns a chain of department stores in Baguio City and La Trinidad, Benguet, has remained silent on the issue. A mall building is seen to rise in the area, acquired only last year byGateluck Corp.

A multi-storey hotel owned by one of the members of the samefamily also rests near the said lot.

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Publication:Philippines Star (Manila, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Aug 1, 2019
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