12 fishermen jailed for ‘illegal fishing’-A A +A
Thursday, May 10, 2012
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Just when talks to settle disputes over the delineation of Pampanga and Bataan coastal waters started, another group of fishermen aboard two boats were apprehended and jailed by Bataan authorities allegedly for “illegal fishing.”
This was revealed by fourth district Board Member Nestor “Bay” Tolentino on Wednesday, when he filed two resolutions seen to address illegal fishing in the province.
“To our disappointment, while we were hearing the case of the poor Kapampangan fisherfolk, Governor Lilia Pineda received information that 12 more of our cabalens were apprehended for alleged illegal fishing. It’s clear to us now that it is not encroachment but Bataan officials insist our fisherfolk violated provisions of Republic Act 8550,” said the Provincial Board’s chair on environment and natural resources.
Sun.Star Pampanga reached and asked involved fishermen, who said that Bataan police “insisted” the fishing nets and other implements they used were not in accordance with the law.
“Iyun pong ginagamit namin hindi naman illegal dahil iyung net, para sa tahong at hindi para sa isda. Alam naman po namin ang batas. Hindi po kami gumagamit ng hindi naaayon sa batas. Alam po ng mga taga-Bataan iyun,” a fisher said.
Tolentino told Sun.Star Pampanga that Pineda was able to negotiate with the Samal, Bataan mayor to reduce bail for the fishermen.
“It was good the mayor of Samal, upon the instance of Governor Pineda, reduced the bail from P8,000 to P1,500. Nonetheless, we must make sure – this is the fifth – that such incidents will not happen again,” Tolentino said.
The lawmaker said he is optimistic the Provincial Board led by Vice Governor Joseller Guiao would support his pleas: first, by giving the green light for Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and National Mapping and Resource Information Authority to delineate coastal lines; and second, by urging the governor to fund the needed P1.5-million infrastructure for buoys and markers.
“Establishing clear boundary lines and putting the essential infrastructure in our coasts in Lubao, Macabebe, Sasmuan and Masantol would ease tensions and finally solve the issue at hand, hopefully,” Tolentino said.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on May 11, 2012.