Wed. Jan 22nd, 2020

Maritime authorities file poaching charges vs giant clam traders

Philippine Coast Guard together with the Philippine National Police and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) seize five giant clams in Liminangcong Port, Taytay, Palawan (Photo courtesy of Coast Guard District Palawan)

Maritime law enforcement authorities have filed charges of violation of the Philippine Fisheries Code against two persons who are believed to be the illegal traders of five pieces of threatened giant clams that were recently seized from a passenger’s vessel docked at Liminangcong Port in Taytay.

Charged for violation of Section 102 of Republic Act (RA) 10654 were Julito Villacis of Little Tondo in Taytay and a certain Roland Pastor with unknown residential address.

Coast Guard District Palawan (CGDP) spokesperson Lt. Commander Christian Jazmin said Thursday that their names are on the bill of lading of the giant clams that were seized aboard MV Palawan Pearl.

Photo courtesy of Coast Guard District Palawan

Villacis is the shipper and Pastor is the consignee, Jazmin said.

He said shipping the giant clams out of Palawan is unlawful under the law, including its gathering, selling, purchasing, possessing, transporting, and exporting.

“‘Yong mga persons involved ay kakasuhan ng criminal and administrative cases dahil sa violation ng Republic Act 8550 as amended by Republic Act 10654,” Jazmin added.

Jazmin said the five giant clams were seized on July 19 through the joint operation conducted by personnel of the Coast Guard in Taytay, the municipal police station, and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

He said the passenger’s vessel was about to depart from Taytay town around 11 p.m. en route to Manila when they implemented the operation.

Found inside three sacks, the giant clams measured around 26 inches long each.

“Pinuntahan ng ating maritime law enforcement team ang MV Palawan Pearl kung saan naka-dock doon sa Liminangcong Port. Nakipag-coordinate sila sa kapitan at doon ay nakita nga nila ang limang giant clam. Nakatakdang itong i-transport illegally papuntang Manila,” Jazmin said.

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