Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Police General Guillermo Lorenzo T Eleazar assured the public of its continuous support in protecting the environment and environment protection enforcers, amid reports citing the Philippines as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for land and environmental defenders.

PGen Eleazar said the PNP would continue to strictly enforce environmental laws that will protect, not just the country’s natural resources, but also individuals and groups who are in the frontline of preserving the environment.

“The Philippine National Police stands with our kababayan in pushing for the protection of our environment through the enforcement of related laws as part of our makakalikasan commitment,” PGen Eleazar said.

The PNP Chief cited an instance wherein the police immediately acted on the attack perpetrated against two forest rangers in Rizal province.

“In fact, we deployed our Special Action Force at the Masungi Georeserve in Rizal after two of its forest rangers were attacked two months ago and our SAF men are just waiting for the deputization order from the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources),” PGen Eleazar said.

The Chief PNP’s statement came after the Philippines was ranked as most dangerous for land defenders in the world and is the top country in Asia, having the highest number of killings of land defenders, according to Global Witness.

PGen Eleazar said the PNP would continue its coordination with the DENR as well as with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, as part of manifesting support to the country’s land protectors.

He said the organization is considering to have talks with the DENR to discuss concrete plans in protecting forest rangers, such as providing training for them.

“The Philippine National Police will continuously coordinate with the DENR and the AFP for all forms of assistance that we could extend to empower our forest rangers in protecting our forests but in doing so, we also ask for the help of other kababayan and other stakeholders in achieving this goal,” PGen Eleazar said.

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