Masungi Georeserve rangers Melvin Akhmad and Khukan Maas filed on Friday, August 13, a frustrated murder complaint against the owner of a resort that allegedly built structures inside the protected area.
Billie Dumaliang, advocacy officer and trustee of Masungi Georeserve Foundation, said the complaint was filed before the provincial prosecutor of Rizal.
They did not release a copy of the complaint, but said in a press release that the rangers “received multiple, sustained threats and harassment” from the owner of GSB resort and his companions.
The rangers filed the complaint against the owner and seven other people.
Akhmad was shot in the head, while Maas was shot in the neck on July 24. Both are recovering and are under monitoring for at least a month.
“Park rangers encountered their group constructing and expanding a resort inside the protected area. They were surprised to see several swimming pools, resort facilities, and other permanent structures built inside the protected forest land and waterways,” said the Masungi Georeserve Foundation.
In July, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) recommended the filing of criminal and administrative complaints against local officials and private individuals for violating environmental laws inside the protected watershed.
The DILG named the GSB resort as having engaged in “illegal cutting of trees and slash and burn activities in some 16 hectares and illegal constructions.”
The government has declared the Masungi Strict Nature and Wildlife Sanctuary as off-limits to quarrying and other destructive activities.