LUCENA City -- Eleven sacks containing corals of different spicies were seized by combined elements of the 403rd PNP-Maritime Group and Bantay-Dagat at Bgy. Dalahican, here.
Reports gathered from the office of Juliet Borlon, the area director for Quezon environment watchdog Tanggol Kalikasan, said the corals were owned by one Mateo Inoc Taneo, 60, fisherman, of Purok 1, Ila-ya of said village.
Quoting reports from Prober PO1 Meynard Peralta of the 403rd PNP-Maritime Group, the marine products were about to be transported and sold to Cartimar in Manila.
She said Peralta, while on duty at the PNP-Maritime station, was informed by a resident about the presence of 11 sacks containing dead corals.
Accompanied by elements of Bantay-Dagat, headed by Arnel Magadia, Borlon, Peralta proceeded to the place and seized the marine products.
She said the informant was able to see the corals as one of the sacks was open and some small corals that were cut into smaller pieces were visible.
Borlon said Taneo admitted the products ownership but refused to disclose their origin.
She said the suspect was arrested and charged with violation of Republic Act 19654 (Amended Philippine Fisheries Code).
Violation of said law carries the penalty of 10 to 20 years of imprisonment.
To address and counter the lingering problems on coral extinction, she said the city government of Lucena under Mayor Roderick Alcala plans to introduce “coral transplantation” instead of propagating artificial coral reefs.