You may have heard of the recent attempts to cut down our beloved trees all over Cebu. Personally, I don’t understand why this is happening. In school, we learn that trees are important.

Here are a few reasons trees are important:

Clean the air

Provide natural shade.

Prevent flooding.

Combat global warming.

There are plenty of benefits to having trees around.

So it puzzles me why we are hearing about so many trees being cut down all over Cebu. I’m happy to hear that there are people who are making an effort to stop this from happening. 

“The two men climbed the trees and lashed themselves to the trunks around 9 p.m. just as Department of Public Works and Highways crews were about to start cutting down the trees. One of them was identified as Dondon Dimas of the Inter Mountaineering Society, while the other was Inoburan resident Lito Labore who lived just nearby.”full story by the Freeman here.

Thankfully, we got a blow by blow breakdown from Rudy Alix. He was there to take pictures and provide commentary of what happened. I first stumbled upon this in a Facebook group called Movement for a Livable Cebu. The following breakdown below is from the Facebook album of Rudy Alix. Below are his words and photos.

Here’s exactly what happened:

8:47 – We arrived at the scene. The mountain climbers were getting their gear ready.

8:48 – We inspected one tree supposedly in an “advanced state of decay”. We found it healthy and lush, but look at how they have strangled the roots.

The front roots and even the back roots were severed too.

8:53 – The cutting crew move in.

8:55 – Heavy equipment ready.

9:06 – Dondon Dimpas reaches halfway up.

9:06 – The boom truck gets ahead of Dondon. He persists in going higher anyway.

9:07 – Another boom truck prunes Tree No. 3

9:07 – One branch down!

9:08 – We look at the cut off part. It does not look sick.

9:10 – Dondon reaches nesting point at Tree No. 1!

9:14 – Lito ties himself to Tree No. 3!

9:16 – Payloader pushes branches to the side.

9:16 – Lito reads Sec. Singson’s handwritten order.

9:22 – Branch down from Tree No. 2!

9:22 – Cleaning cut.

9:23 – Tressa shows a copy of Singson’s written order.

9:37 – Another cut from Tree No. 2

9:38 – Branch down!

Tressa, Louella, and Joy Martinez – frantically contacting RD Canlas of DPWH, RED Montejo of DENR, and Sec. Singson of DPWH, trying their best to have them order a stop to the “murder” of trees!

9:50 – Residents gather the pieces for firewood.

10:09 – A Naga councilor talking to media. During the standoff.

10:20 – DPWH Personnel move out. Climbers stay put.

10:26 – Tressa gets responses from RD Canlas.

10:26 – SWAT Team surrounds Tree No. 1, Dondon’s tree. Negotiations follow. No photo.

10:33 – Tressa announces order from RD Canlas to stop cutting.

11:09 – Negotiations with Swat NOT to arrest the climbers.

11:13 – Naga Police leave the scene! The SWAT Team stayed.

11:14 – Louella asks media to surround the climbers when they go down. They say “We’re not allowed to do that ma’am!”

11:18 – The media “don’t” surround Dondon.

11:20 – The climber’s support group sees some cut marks on the cord.

11:39 – Negotiations with the SWAT Team Finalized. They perform on-scene documenting.

11:40 – Lito and companion come down.


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