Maritime authorities on seaborne patrol operations apprehended nine fishing boats in two municipalities in Palawan that were allegedly engaged in various illegal activities from May 20-25.
Police community relations officer PCapt. Mylene Petalio of the 2nd Special Operations Unit-Maritime Group (2nd SOU-MG), said Sunday that the items they confiscated from the seized fishing boats all amounted to P7.2 million.
Petalio said that on May 20, their 2nd SOU-MG Rio Tuba Detachment in Barangay Rio Tuba, Bataraza, apprehended two motorized fishing boats in with four crew, including the boat captain, for violations of the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines.
She said the 2,000 board feet of alleged illegally cut lumbers were seized aboard motorboat Julio Uno and have an estimated value of P220,000.
“Kadalasan galing ng Rio Tuba sila then dadalahin siguro nila sa kalapit na island barangays. Madalas kasi akala ng mga ilegalista walang nagbabantay ng ganoong oras kaya nahuli sila,” Petalio said.
On May 23, around 7:00 a.m., the 2nd SOU-MG Coron Detachment also nabbed the 18 crewmen and the skippers of six fishing vessels for violation of the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998.
Four boats were marked with the names Suessa from San Jose, Occidental Mindoro allegedly owned by a certain Homer Villareal; Mega R.D.A. with five crew and the boat captain from Nasugbu, Batangas; Arman with five crewmen also from San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, and Melvin with three crewmen.
The two other fishing boats were unmarked with four crewmen.
“Buong araw ng seaborne patrol operation ng tropa mula 7:00 a.m., naka-apprehend naman ng anim sa Coron. Apat sa kanila nag-violate ng fisheries code, ‘yong dalawa nag-violate sa municipal ordinance for using unauthorized compressor. Ang total ng mga evidence, mga more or less P7 million,” she said.
On May 25, an unmarked motorized banca was also apprehended off Barangay Bugsuk, Balabac, for suspected dynamite fishing.
Seized from its two crew were P61,350-worth of fish and fishing gears.
All apprehended crewmen of the boats will be charged for violation of Presidential Decree 705 of the Forestry Code of the Philippines and Republic Act 8550 as amended by Republic Act 10654 or the Philippine Fisheries Code.