North Cebu fisherfolk file charges
NEARLY 100 fisherfolk and Bantay Dagat volunteers from northern Cebu went to the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office last Friday to file charges against two illegal fishing operators apprehended off Kinatarcan Island in Sta. Fe last week.
The group came from towns of San Remigio, Daanbantayan and Sta. Fe on Bantayan Island.
At least 39 persons in fishing boats AC and JSV2 were apprehended last Wednesday for “hulbot-hulbot,” an illegal fishing method using fine mesh nets within municipal waters.
They were charged with violating the Philippine Fisheries Code.
AC fishing vessel captain Donato Villaceran, a councilman of barangay Tabagak, Madridejos, and JSV2 owner Engineer Julius Villaceran were named respondents.
Vincent Isles, lawyer for 11 complainants, said the law prohibits the use of active fishing gear within municipal waters.
The fisherfolk and volunteers, majority of whom are members of the Guardians of the Seas, rallied in front of the prosecutor’s office.
They carried a banner with the image of the group’s founder, former Chief Security Officer Loy Anthony Madrigal.
Last Thursday, Madrigal was charged by boat captain Donato Villaceran for robberyand kidnapping or serious illegal detention. Madrigal left for Thailand earlier this week and wasn’t available for comment.
Isles said the filing of charges was not a counteraction to the boat owners complaint. He said volunteers were set to file the charges last week but were unable to do so due to schedule conflicts.
The group said Sta. Fe police were not cooperative when the arrest was made last Wednesday, delaying the filing of the case.
Lawyer Chad Estella, head of the Provincial Anti-Illegal Fishing Task Force coordinator, said he will ask Senior Supt. Noel Gillamac, Cebu provincial police chief about it.
Guardians of the Seas has volunteers from fisherfolk in the north with a special chapter in Talisay City.
Two mini-buses and two Ceres buses ferried them from the north to the city.
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