Maritime police in Palawan arrested a suspected mynah bird trafficker and three poachers of endangered marine species in two separate operations.

Supt. Greg Togonon, chief of the 2nd Special Operations Unit-Maritime Group, on Monday said a 48-year-old suspect was arrested on Oct. 3 for selling four live mynah birds along the national road in Barangay Bono-Bono.

“I am requesting not to name the suspect because we have a follow-up operation against several others and he will be the one to help us,” Togonon said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

He said the suspect has committed to help them in the arrest of his companions, who are also catching and trading endangered birds in the Bataraza area.

“Pina-process na namin ang filing ng case at na-turnover naman na ang mynah birds sa (We are now processing the case and the mynah birds had been turned over to the) Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center,” he said.

In Coron, the 2nd SOU-MG detachment apprehended three local fishermen on Oct. 4 after semi-processed meat of 10 pieces of endangered silky sharks (Carcharhinus falciformis) and 25 pieces of bluespotted maskrays (Neotrygon kuhlii) were found in their possession.

The suspects were identified as Edmond Gracia, 31, of Barangay Rio Tuba, Bataraza; Ruben Bugtong, 36; and Teodoro Sanchez, 45, both residents of Barangay Liminangcong in Taytay town.

Togonon said the silky shark is identified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as a “near threatened” species worldwide.

The bluespotted maskray, on the other hand, is commonly sold in the pet trade and for its meat.

“Ito sila ay pa-file-lan ng kaso for poaching marine wildlife (These individuals will be sued for poaching marine wildlife). These unscrupulous individuals affect our conservation and protection initiatives of the protected species,” he said.

Authorities in Palawan recently intensified the campaign against wildlife traffickers.

The suspects will be sued for violation of Republic Act 9147 (Wildlife Resources and Protection Act).

Source: https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1050267