Maritime police nab 3 men for killing endangered sea turtle
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Three members of the Badjao tribe in Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City may face charges for the violation of wildlife protection laws after they allegedly killing a sea turtle with the use of an improvised speargun.
Barame Radja, 50; Brayan Alim, 32; and Julius Asamsa, 49, were arrested by the 701st Maritime Police Station (MARPSTA) while patrolling the waters off Caohagan Island in Lapu-Lapu City around 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 6.
The three are from Sitio Puntod in Barangay Mambaling in Cebu City.
Police Corporal Oscarito Matbagon Jr. of the Lapu-Lapu City Maritime Police Unit said that the 701st MARPSTA was on seaborne patrol when they spotted the three suspects on board their motorized pump boat.
“Pagkakita nila (suspects), ilang gilabay dayon ang pawikan mao to nga giduol sa 701st MARPSTA,” Matbagon said in a phone interview.
(When the suspects saw the patrolling MARPSTA, they immediately threw the dead turtle.)
Maritime police recovered the dead turtle floating beside the suspects pump boat. Also confiscated from their possession were the two improvised spearguns which they allegedly use in fishing.
According to the Biodiversity Management Bureau, all species of marine turtles in the Philippines are considered as endangered.
The police will turn over the dead sea turtle to the Wild Life Bureau of Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Central Visayas (DENR-7) for proper disposal.
The suspects are now detained at the Regional Maritime Unit Headquarters in Lapu-Lapu City pending the filing of charges for violation of RA 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act against them. /dcb
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