DENR appeals anew for copy of tree video
The regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-7) has renewed its request for a copy of the footage of a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera recording from the Cebu City government that may have captured the actual cutting of trees in the Serging Osmeña Road center island last March.
DENR-7’s request has been strengthened by a subpoena from the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office.
“We would like to respectfully request your office to provide us a full copy of the CCTV footage or recording as an important piece of document to be brought during the clarificatory investigation,” said DENR-7 regional executive director Isabelo Montejo in a letter to Mayor Michael Rama yesterday.
Assistant City Prosecutor Rogelio Del Prado Jr., issued the subpoena to the DENR’s Community Environment and Natural Resources Office as well as project contractor WT Construction Inc. calling for a clarificatory investigation at 3 p.m. on July 24. WT Construction is facing an illegal tree cutting suit for the removal of the S. Osmeña Road trees. A note in the subpoena states: “Please bring the CCTV copy as alleged in the affidavit.”
Specifically, the subpoena and the DENR-7’s request refers to footage taken from March 29 to 30, the dates when at least 79 trees were believed to have been cut.
The project, which is being undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways, became controversial after at least 79 trees disappeared from the center island of the road. Until now, the trees have not been located except for a few branches which ended up as firewood.
The CCTV footage are with the Cebu City Command and Control Center headed by Councilor Dave Tumulak, who said that releasing the footage still needs the go-signal of Mayor Michael Rama.
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