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German illegally Occupying Protected Forestland in Boracay Arrested

Police authorities arrested a German national along with 3 Pinoys for allegedly occupying protected forestland in Boracay island illegally.

Ludwig August Borchers, a 69-year-old German national, was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). Three additional Filipinos are also suspected of inhabiting a protected forestland on Boracay Island.

German Occupying Boracay Forestland

Gerald Alapag and Dhelmar Evangelio, both 29, and Mark Bernard Alcantara, 42, were the three people arrested. According to the article, all three are Balabag village inhabitants.

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The suspect allegedly constructed commercial buildings on state-owned land, according to the NBI. The NBI formally charged the four with violating the Philippines’ Revised Forestry Code before the Aklan Provincial Prosecutors Office in Kalibo town on September 22.

 “They built commercial establishments in the forestland owned by the state,” said Special Investigator Rizaldy Rivera of NBI Central Office’s Environment Crime Division.

The four claimed in their defense that they had tax declarations and building licences from the Malay local government, and that one of them had a deed of sale from the putative prior owner. The NBI, on the other hand, claims that it is an illegal occupancy.

If a Forest Landuse Agreement for Tourism Purposes (FLAgT) is approved by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the government enables legal existence of structures along the forestland. The four illegal tenants’ information was submitted to the NBI by the DENR, as several had already been served with notices and orders to evacuate.

The illegal occupants, on the other hand, opted to remain on state-owned property. Last year, the National Bureau of Investigation’s Environment Crime Division detained 15 people in Boracay for the same offenses.

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