The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Warriors made a sweep of the elimination round in the 8th season of the UNTV Cup AngLigang Public Servants after it defeated the National Housing Authority Builders on Nov. 6 to earn its fifth straight win for a chance to bring home the championship cup.

The team held its ground with solid defense and offensive plays anchored on individual talent and team chemistry for an 87-84 cardiac finish finish.

The players dedicated their game to Forest Ranger BienvenidoSeverino “Toto” Veguilla, Jr. who was hacked to death by illegal loggers on Sept. 4 in El Nido, Palawan, and Forest Ranger Ronaldo Corpuz of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Munoz, Nueva Ecija who was shot by unidentified assailants on Oct. 25.

The team is determined to win the championship and bag the P4 M prize which it will donate to the DENR Heroes Foundation, its chosen beneficiary.

The players have pledged their support to Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu in his call to stop the killing of forest defenders and to establish an enforcement bureau to effectively stop environmental crimes such as illegal logging and smuggling of wildlife species.

Cimatu has declared that he will do everything in his power to protect DENR workers from “fearless, cunning and greedy” individuals who destroy the environment for their own selfish interests.

On his part, DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said recognizing “environmental heroes” is the DENR’s way of showing appreciation to its employees who have laid down their lives for the cause of the environment.

“The cash prize may not compensate for the lives lost but it will somehow ease the pain of losing a loved one,” said Antiporda adding that giving the prize to the families of the victims shows how DENR employees value their fellow workers.

The Environmental Heroes’ Foundation, Inc (EHFI) was conceptualized by former DENR Secretary Ramon J.P.Paje in 2016 to promote the welfare of the family of DENR officials and employees who lost their lives or were permanently disabled while on duty in implementing and enforcing environmental laws, rules and regulations.

The foundation is a non-stock, non-profit organization duly registered under the Securities and Exchange Commission in October 2012. The Board of Trustees is headed by former Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno.

Games of the UNTV Cup are aired over UNTV Television channel or via live streaming on Facebook.###