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PAF officer dodges ire of Ilocos Norte board

 

LAOAG CITY—A young Air Force officer dissuaded the Ilocos Norte provincial council from declaring him persona non grata for his supposed involvement in the illegal cutting of trees at the Dilomot watershed near the Paredes Air Station in Pasuquin.

In a written appeal to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, the newly promoted 1st Lt. Generoso O. Bautista Jr. of the 581st Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron persuaded the council in removing his name from a resolution that would have banished him from the province for the Dilomot watershed incident.

Bautista, in a written appeal that was heard by the council in their session on Monday, was in a training course and was not in Dilomot when the illegal tree-cutting incident occurred, as shown by official military documents.



He also argued that he was only following a legal order of his superior officer, Lt. Col. Scott Albano, when he set up a checkpoint at the Dilomot watershed to prevent journalists and representatives of the Ilocos Norte Water District (INWD) to enter the Dilomot watershed to verify the illegal cutting of trees.

He said Albano also ordered him to settle some obligations with a furniture shop owned by Charlemagne S. Calluttung, who earlier confirmed that Bautista was indeed the one who paid the obligations.

Despite his limited involvement in the incident, Bautista, 29, said his military career will be affected if the council decides to include him in Resolution 2004-10-048, sponsored by the provincial board member Da Vinci M. Crisostomo, asking the Philippine Air Force to investigate Albano and Bautista for the incident and declaring both Air Force officers persona non grata.

The SP members sympathized with Bautista and removed his name from the resolution, which was approved on third and final reading on Monday by the SP, headed by Vice Gov. Windell D. Chua.

However, Bautista’s superior officer, Albano, was declared persona non grata along with Benjamin Abucay, the city environment and natural resources officer.

The resolution also asked the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to transfer Abucay from Ilocos Norte’s jurisdiction, but Albano had already been “promoted” to a higher position in Zamboanga City when the INWD reported the illegal felling of trees to the provincial council.

Senior provincial board member Mariano Marcos 2nd, who headed the probe into the incident, reiterated that still face appropriate charges for violating several environmental laws, such as the use of unlicensed chainsaw without first securing a permit from the environment department.

By Leilanie G. Adriano , Northern Luzon Bureau

LAOAG CITY—A young Air Force officer dissuaded the Ilocos Norte provincial council from declaring him persona non grata for his supposed involvement in the illegal cutting of trees at the Dilomot watershed near the Paredes Air Station in Pasuquin.

In a written appeal to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, the newly promoted 1st Lt. Generoso O. Bautista Jr. of the 581st Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron persuaded the council in removing his name from a resolution that would have banished him from the province for the Dilomot watershed incident.

Bautista, in a written appeal that was heard by the council in their session on Monday, was in a training course and was not in Dilomot when the illegal tree-cutting incident occurred, as shown by official military documents.

He also argued that he was only following a legal order of his superior officer, Lt. Col. Scott Albano, when he set up a checkpoint at the Dilomot watershed to prevent journalists and representatives of the Ilocos Norte Water District (INWD) to enter the Dilomot watershed to verify the illegal cutting of trees.

He said Albano also ordered him to settle some obligations with a furniture shop owned by Charlemagne S. Calluttung, who earlier confirmed that Bautista was indeed the one who paid the obligations.

Despite his limited involvement in the incident, Bautista, 29, said his military career will be affected if the council decides to include him in Resolution 2004-10-048, sponsored by the provincial board member Da Vinci M. Crisostomo, asking the Philippine Air Force to investigate Albano and Bautista for the incident and declaring both Air Force officers persona non grata.

The SP members sympathized with Bautista and removed his name from the resolution, which was approved on third and final reading on Monday by the SP, headed by Vice Gov. Windell D. Chua.

However, Bautista’s superior officer, Albano, was declared persona non grata along with Benjamin Abucay, the city environment and natural resources officer.

The resolution also asked the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to transfer Abucay from Ilocos Norte’s jurisdiction, but Albano had already been “promoted” to a higher position in Zamboanga City when the INWD reported the illegal felling of trees to the provincial council.

Senior provincial board member Mariano Marcos 2nd, who headed the probe into the incident, reiterated that still face appropriate charges for violating several environmental laws, such as the use of unlicensed chainsaw without first securing a permit from the environment department.

By Leilanie G. Adriano

 

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