The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has filed charges against the two suspected wildlife smugglers arrested in Mati City, Davao Oriental.
The NBI’s Environmental Crime Division-Investigative Service charged Jomar Toledo, 34, and Rompas Lumakore, 25, both residents of Barangay Dahican, Mati for possessing and selling endangered wildlife animals in violation of Section 27 of Republic Act No. 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.
Last Monday, the Task Force POGI (Philippine Operations Group on Ivory and Illegal Wildlife Trade) seized 450 pieces of endangered wildlife animals in Dahican. These exotic species are said to have been transported from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea using wooden hull sea vessel.
The apprehended wildlife animals, composed of 369 birds, 18 mammals and 63 reptiles, have an estimated value of P50 million.
Most of these species are categorized as endangered based on the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
Task Force POGI is a composite group of personnel from the DENR, including Biodiversity and Management Bureau (BMB), and officers of law enforcement agencies like the Philippine National Police and the NBI organized by the DENR in 2013, as among the measures to curb poaching and illegal trade of wildlife in the country.
DENR Regional Executive Director Ruth Tawantawan, also the agency’s assistant secretary for field operations in Eastern Mindanao, commended the team for its successful operation and said that the Department will continue to be vigilant in curbing illegal trading of wildlife.
“Rest assured that under Secretary Roy Cimatu’s watch, the Department will always be on the guard in curtailing wildlife trading as we are committed to safeguard wildlife species, both flora and fauna, most especially if these species are considered critically-endangered or endangered,” Tawantawan said. PR
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