Turtle poachers nabbed

(File Photo) A juvenile sea turtle by Rommel M. Cruz/Wild Expeditions Palawan.

Three live critically endangered sea turtles (pawikan) were confiscated from eight fishermen in a coastal village in Roxas town who were arrested on March 14 for illegal fishing using compressors.

Police Senior Inspector Ric Ramos, the spokesperson of the Provincial Police Office (PPO) of Palawan, identified them as Julito Trinidad and Alfredo Guerrero, who were the boat captains, Ronel Berial, Jomar Matarong, Arnel Arevalo, Michael Lagahan, Jeffrey Aremala and Eddie Emperial.

They were arrested by policemen of the Roxas Municipal Police Station (MPS) in the coastal village of Sitio Ligawen, Barangay Taradungan. All are residents of Barangay 1.

The police also confiscated three sea turtles which have been preserved, 55 kilos of assorted fish, two units of compressor with hoses and tanks, five pieces of harpoon, two motorized bancas, and other fishing paraphernalia.

The suspects are now at the Roxas MPS for custody. They will be charged, said Ramos, for violating Republic Act 10654 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998.

PSI Ramos said that the suspects were brought to the Roxas police station for proper disposition while the charges in violation of Republic Act 10654 were prepared by the authorities against the suspects.

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-Palawan head Mario Basaya said on Friday that it will be the apprehending personnel who will file the cases against the eight fishermen.

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