Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has commended personnel of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the rescue of over 300 smuggled live animals and arrest of four suspects in what has been dubbed as one of the country’s largest wildlife busts.

The successful operation was carried out on Tuesday by joint operatives from the NBI-Environmental Crime Division and the DENR’s Philippine Operations Group of Ivory and Illegal Wildlife Trade, also known as Task Force POGI.

“We feel proud that we have an accomplishment to share to the Filipino people,” Cimatu said after personally witnessing the turnover of the seized animals to the Wildlife Resources Center of the DENR’s Biodiversity Management Bureau in Quezon City.

The environment chief added: “We are not talking about mining, we are not talking about pollution, but we are talking about conservation. This is really our main purpose in the DENR.”

Cimatu already ordered the filing of criminal charges against the suspects identified as Abraham Fulla Bernales, Juner Bawenti, Nestor Torion and Jose Bandingan for violating provisions of Republic Act No. 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.

“This serves both as an accomplishment and warning to those who are thinking in doing such [illegal] actions as far as these wild animals are concerned,” Cimatu said.

Among the animals rescued from the suspects are 110 squirrel-like sugar gliders, 7 red birds of paradise and 26 Moluccan cockatoos, which wildlife monitor International Union for Conservation of Nature considers to be at high risk of extinction in the wild. The wildlife species could be native to Australia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

According to BMB Director Theresa Mundita Lim, the DENR will “provide the best available animal care” for the rescued wildlife species.

“The animals will also be screened for two months to make sure they are free from any disease,” said Lim, a licensed veterinarian.

In the meantime, Lim said the BMB will have to determine the actual origin of the animals.

“If it is still possible to repatriate them, we will so that they could go back to their natural habitat. But if it is no longer possible, we will see if we can take care of them in the long term and use them for educational purposes,” Lim said.

Lim said there are environmental conservation partners and animal welfare groups from the non-government organization who are willing to help the DENR in taking care of the species using their own resources.

She noted that all the animals that were collected are tropical animals, so they are able to survive in the country’s weather conditions.

“We can communicate with the country where they originated, so that they could be returned to their natural habitat. We cannot release them here in the Philippines since these species are not endemic here,” Lim pointed out. ###

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  • DENR 8 conducts lecture-forum on Anti-VAWC and Anti-Harassment

    Friday, May 25, 2018

    One hundred employees participated in the lecture-forum on Anti-VAWC and Anti-Sexual Harassment Law last March 20, 2018. This activity was spearheaded by the Gender and Development of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 8 in celebration of the National Women’s Month. Raising public awareness on Anti-Violence against Women and Their Children Act (RA 9262) and the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act (RA 7877) to both male and female employees was the main objective of lec…


Photo Releases

DENR 8’s ARD for Management Services Arturo N. Salazar presents Updates on Government Policy on Climate Change during the 2nd Regional Climate Change Conference conducted by PH Haiyan Cooperative in cooperation with the Climate Change Commission.

Mangrove forest and eco-park in Naungan, Ormoc City developed by the Naungan San Juan Mangrove Planters Association from what used to be a plain mudflat.

DENR 8 technical personnel record and monitor sightings of migratory birds in the wetlands of Eastern Visayas.

Residents of Brgy. Tagpuro join the mangrove tree planting activity spearheaded by the PH Haiyan Advocacy Cooperative.

Participants to the tree planting activity in celebration of National Women’s Month and International Day of Forest plant mangrove propagules in one of the most devatated areas in Tacloban City when Super Typhoon Haiyan hit the region in November 2013.

The speaker urge participants to respect women, support their children, love their family and share what they learned to other people and advocate women’s rights during a lecture-forum on Anti-VAWC and Anti-Harassment in celebration of the National Women's Month.

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