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NARRA (Pterocarpus indicus), the national tree, is abloom with yellow flowers. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

A book about trees found in the Philippines honors Leonard Co, considered the country’s foremost botanist and taxonomist, who was killed in Leyte, on Nov. 15, 2010.  Soldiers mistook Co, who was  conducting research on tree biodiversity in the Manawan-Kananga Watershed, as a member of the New People’s Army and rained bullets on him and his companions, employees of the Lopez-owned Energy Development Corp.

Two years after his death, the Department of Justice has yet to come up with the results of its preliminary investigation. Co’s wife and his parents have filed murder charges against soldiers who fired on Co and his companions.

“Philippine Native Trees 101” features 108 of the country’s 3,600 native trees, of which 67 percent are endemic or found nowhere else, and contains photos of trees that Co himself had taken. The book was published by Hortica Filipina Foundation Inc., and Green Convergence for Safe Food, Healthy Environment and Sustainable Economy. Copies of the book can be ordered from tema.hortica@gmail.com or (+63) 917-4650281, (+63) 908-3402691 and (+632) 721-5187.

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