Alleged illegal reclamation project within a mangrove area in Kawit, Cavite suspended while three individuals at the site were arrested by operatives from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), according to the report of John Consulta on 24 Oras on Wednesday.
The reclamation project that involved illegal cutting down of mangrove trees and landfill started in April this year by a company, which the NBI did not name as of posting.
A drone shot taken by the NBI showed one hectare of what was once a lush marshland has been filled up with soil and part of the Ilang-Ilang River is no longer visible.
Atty. Eric Nuqui, NBI Environmental Crime Division chief, said they went to Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), National Water Resources Board, and Philippine Reclamation Authority.
"Napag alaman natin, base sa sertifikasyon na kanilang ibinigay, na pawang wala pong mga permits na ibinigay sa korporasyon na ito at sa entity na ito para magsagawa ng reclamation activity sa nasabing," Nuqui said.
The NBI underscored the effects of the destruction of a mangrove area in a community.
"Ito ang unang pananggalang sa daluyong ng bagyo. At magiging less ang harmful effect ng mga bagyo kung merong mga mangrove areas na ito. Pero kapag pinutol mo nga ito lalong delikado ang epekto ng bagyo in the future.
"'Yung pagbaha dito sa Metro Manila. Ito ang isang napakalaking epekto pagka sinasarhan natin ang ating mga waterways dahil walang madadaanan ang tubig baha," he added.
The three individuals arrested at the site declined to issue a statement.
Meanwhile, the NBI also confiscated the heavy equipment found at the site. -- BAP, GMA News