Duterte orders SODACO closure
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said President Rodrigo Duterte has directed Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu to immediately close down the logging operations of the SODACO Agricultural Corp. in the Zamboanga Peninsula.
“After watching a 5-minute video of the deforested portion of the Zamboanga mountain range, President Duterte immediately directed Sec. Cimatu to implement the Closure Order,” the official said in a Facebook post.
Owned by the Consunji family, SODACO holds a 60,000-hectare concession. The firm’s logging activities is blamed for the flash floods and mudslides which killed dozens of people and damaged agricultural lands in four towns of Zamboanga del Norte Dec. 22 at the height of Typhoon Vinta.
“Roy, ipasara mo yan. Hindi naman maghihirap yan si Consunji kasi Oligarch na yan,” Piñol said, recalling Duterte’s words to Cimatu.
The president was also said to have promised assistance for fisher folk families in the town that have been devastates by the flash flood.