At least P275,000 worth of illegally logged Mangkono, a premium species of hardwood, were seized by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in waters off Balicasag Island on Sunday afternoon.
According to PCG-Panglao, the 81 pieces of hardwood came from Surigao and were supposed to be ferried to Talisay City in Cebu.
The pieces of wood which have been measured at a total 1,836.98 board feet were being transported by five men on board a small boat who were arrested by the PCG.
Authorities identified the suspects as Lolito Tiu, 42; Jundel Dizon, 24; Jade Villamor, 28; Jerry Boy Flores, 22; and Rulie Orcuylo, 30, who are all from Surigao City.
The suspects were reportedly spotted by the PCG and personnel of the Philippine Navy and Army as they were patrolling the area around Balicasag.
They are currently detained at the Panglao Police Station and will be facing charges for violating Republic Act 7161 or Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines.
The seized pieces of wood are with the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office. (Rey Tutas)