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Two forest rangers of the Masungi Georeserve in Rizal were shot in the head and the neck on Saturday, July 24. The motive for the attack is still unknown.
In a Facebook post, the project’s administration reported that their rangers were shot at around 9 pm on Saturday at a reforestation area near GSB Resort in Baras town, Rizal.
“One ranger was shot in the head and the other was shot in the neck. They are now being treated with first aid and are preparing [to] transfer to another hospital,” it said.
In the police report obtained by Rappler, the two were identified as Melvin Akmad and Kukan Maas. Akmad was wounded in the head, while Maas, in the neck.
The police counted one culprit, who remains to be unidentified and at-large.
The reserve condemned the act of violence, saying, “We are devastated and enraged by this heinous act of violence and attempted murder against forest defenders.”
The reserve also called on the police to protect them, noting that it was not the first time that their rangers encountered harassment and violence.
The rangers have been transferred to the Quirino Memorial Medical Center as of Sunday morning, July 25.
The incident was also confirmed to Rappler by Rizal provincial police chief Colonel Joseph Arguelles.
In a phone interview, Arguelles said they could not deploy security as of Sunday morning because they have not been able to gather testimonies from Masungi’s staffers.
“They are still waiting for an order before speaking with us,” Arguelles told Rappler.
In a text message to Rappler, Billie Dumaliang, the managing trustee of Masungi, said that some of their staffers have offered testimonies to the police. However, the injured rangers, she said, needed to be treated for their injuries first before speaking with law enforcers. – Rappler.com