Was it a case of confusion or out of respect of the court of law?
This surfaced during the meeting of the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan convened as Committee of a Whole last week at the Capitol purportedly to tackle the alleged illegal cutting of acacia case involving former Dauis mayor Victor Bolos following the prosecution’s order for the respondents and the complainants to appear before the office next month. The committee decided not to discuss anymore the case filed by the DENR through Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) headed by Eusalem Quiwag against Bolos after SP secretary Bonifacio Quirog informed the committee of a prosecution subpoena issued by the Provincial Prosecution Office. The provincial board was informed that the prosecution office ordered the complainant and the respondent for preliminary inquiry. When sought for comments, Provincial Legal Officer John Mitchell Boiser told the committee meeting that it would be better to “freeze” the SP’s investigation in aid-of-legislation over the acacia case with no time frame being set. Boiser’s advice was taken at face value by the hearing committee composed of presiding officer Vice-Gov. Concepcion Lim, senior Board Member Dionisio Balite, and Board Members Abeleon Damalerio, Romulo Cepedoza, Brigido Imboy and Cesar Tomas Lopez. Their attendance failed to muster a quorum of the committee as a whole because it needs eight members.
In separate interview after the meeting, Boiser expressed elation that his advice to the committee was heeded because what might the Special Forces’ testimonies about its role in transporting an alleged illegal cut acacia which is an important material in the case. He said that it’s hard to delineate facts from what might be the SF’s testimonies. The probability of calling SF to testify when necessary is not remote, he added. Balite’s privilege speech on illegally cut acacia species prompted the committee to call for the committee hearing that invited the Special Forces (SF) of the Philippine Army. It appears there was “blatant” violations on rules/regulations of the DENR and the absence of a permit to cut trees and neither permit to transport the cut trees lumber form,” Balite said in his speech. The Special Forces (SF) officers could have divulged why its military truck was used in transporting the alleged illegally cut acacia species from Sikatuna town and brought to Dauis town, where Bolos presently resides. Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner, outgoing commanding officer of the SF battalion Capt. Elmer Namocat, the officer who authorized the use of the military truck for civilian use.
The SF officers were invited by the committee presided over by Vice-Gov. Lim to shed light on the controversial issue of an acacia tree, an endangered specie. He explained that his men are always there to help not knowing that they were caught in a controversy, he told the audience during the change of command in Bilar last week. But what prompted SF to extend help because they were told that the cut trees were intended for the school chairs, he said. He appealed to the public to leave them as a non-partisan group without any political leaning. “Hold in abeyance” Also, the provincial board has held in abeyance the inquiry in aid-of-legislation into the alleged drug trade at the Bohol District Jail (BDJ), formerly Bohol Detention and Rehab Center, now run by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) led by warden Richard Laure, who was invited by the committee. The move was prompted by an inquiry already undertaken by the PLO led by Boiser. PLO was tasked by the governor to undertake the probe into the drug trade but has yet to complete its findings. Boiser told the media that he asked for ample time until early next month to complete its task. Boiser’s investigating body was instrumental in the findings of what transpired in the escape of three BDJ inmates. Two of the inmates were killed during the hot pursuit operations.