Baguio to sue real estate firm for ‘killing’ trees

The trunks of the trees within the property of Northbelle Properties Incorporated are bored with large holes, and chemicals are injected to dehydrate them

Published 4:19 PM, September 20, 2019

Updated 9:21 PM, October 07, 2019

'KILLED.' The city government of Baguio finds these among the 9 'murdered' trees in Gibraltar on September 17, 2019. Photo by Cepmo

‘KILLED.’ The city government of Baguio finds these among the 9 ‘murdered’ trees in Gibraltar on September 17, 2019. Photo by Cepmo

BAGUIO, Philippines – The city government is set to sue a real estate company after the city forestry division found 9 matured Benguet pine trees which were slowly being killed within their property.

The 9 trees were found this week by the City Environment and Parks Management Office (Cepmo) inside a private property on Arellano Street in Barangay Gibraltar. The property is owned by Northbelle Properties Incorporated, which is based in Muntinlupa.

The Cepmo found that soil was dumped at the bases of the trees to dehydrate and disrupt water distribution.

Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong has ordered Cepmo to look into private yards, especially those bought by realty companies and business establishments, and investigate the trees inside if they are intentionally being killed.

In August, Magalong ordered his legal team to file a case against a business group for the “murder” of 45 matured pine trees along Legarda Road.

“That incident triggered the awareness that it is not only happening on that lot, because where will they get an idea that such is possible? All the dead trees covered by requests for cutting will be subjected to physical inspection to assure that they were not intentionally ‘killed,’” Magalong said.

In the Legarda property, the team led by the mayor reported that the trunks of the trees were bored with large holes and chemicals, possibly calcium carbide, were injected to dehydrate them, causing the trees to “die.”

Benguet pine is becoming a rarity in this so-called City of Pines, with only about half a million large pine trees alive in the city, said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. – Rappler.com

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