The four suspects in the illegal trading of giant “taklobo” shells trading were brought Friday morning to the prosecutor’s office to undergo inquest proceedings for violation of the Wildlife Act of the Philippines.

Carlo Valdez Cutanda, Carlito Paduga, Eduardo Oplas, and Erwin Durana were brought to the Office of the City Prosecutor for inquest proceedings for “collecting, hunting, or possessing wildlife, their by-products, and derivatives” in violation of Republic Act (RA) 9147 or the Wildlife Act.

The were arrested on February 6 following a joint operation conducted by the Palawan Council for Sustainability Development (PCSD) enforcement team, Philippine National Police (PNP) Taytay, and representatives from the Taytay local government unit (LGU), acting based on a tip by an informant.

The collected giant clams were identified as Tridacna deresa, Tridacna maxima, Tridacna gigas, and Tridacna squamosa, all classified as protected species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Faunas (CITES).

The giant clams, also known as “taklobo”, were allegedly being sold for P600 to P1,000, according to the initial report.