Probe Masungi entries, Abalos directs PNP

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. on Sunday directed the Philippine National Police to investigate reports that illegal businesses owned by active and retired police officers and local government officials have encroached at the Masungi Georeserve Park.

Following his visit to the protected area in Tanay, Rizal, Abalos stressed that elected officials and members of the uniformed services should lead by example in protecting the environment.

Abalos’ statement came as members of the Sinagtala Security Agency left Masungi after their presence became the subject of the Masungi Georeserve Foundation or MGF.

“We will not allow a few people to steal it. So to all those who will try to build businesses and other illegal structures within Masungi, I am warning you. Stop it because our law forbids it,” Abalos said.

The MGF has a memorandum of agreement with the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources for the former to help oversee that the area is preserved as a protected reservation.

Abalos made the statement over reports that said officials have erected resorts and other commercial establishments at Masungi.

He said that the 2,700 hectares of forest land at Masungi should be safeguarded from land grabbers and those who establish businesses there.

Abalos added the area is protected by Proclamation 296-2011 which declared the Marikina Watershed Reservation, situated in Antipolo City, and the towns of Baras, Rodriguez, San Mateo and Tanay as “protected area.”

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