Task force wants to keep seized vehicle, vessels-A A +A
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
HE truck loaded with sacks of protected shell species that was seized last Sunday in New Port, Barangay Maya in the northern town of Daanbantayan is now in the Capitol compound.
Anti-illegal Fishing Task Force Chief Loi Madrigal said he will ask the prosecutor to allow the task force to retain custody of the truck and the other vessels the task force had seized after these were caught being used in allegedly illegal activities.
Madrigal told reporters that it is common practice for owners to retrieve their vessels, promising the court that these will be made available if the court asks for them.
However, he said the vessels are again used in illegal activities or are sold.
Capitol has in its custody three commercial fishing boats that were allegedly used in illegal fishing, two pumpboats that were allegedly carrying dynamite, the pumpboat transporting the endangered shells last Sunday and another pumpboat that was allegedly carrying illegal drugs.
Madrigal said Barangay Captain Julius Villaceran of Tabagak, Madridejos sold his fishing boat even though the vessel is evidence in a case that the task force had filed.
He said Villaceran signed a commitment with the prosecutor that he would produce the boat if the court needed it.
When sought for reaction, Villaceran denied the allegation.
“Ako lang ‘tong gipa-lielow. Nag-operate ug tua sa Masbate (It’s operating in Masbate),” Villaceran told Sun.Star Cebu.
He assured that he will immediately produce the boat once it is needed since it is in his possession.
Among the confiscated shells last Sunday were 1,024 pieces of budyong, or Triton’s trumpet shells.
Madrigal, Capitol Civil Security Unit head, confirmed that the budyong (scientific name Cassis Cornuta) is considered endangered.
Last June 25, millions worth of budyong were also seized in Minglanilla, according to Randolph Corrales of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 27, 2014.