By Freddie G. Lazaro
Sta. Ana, Cagayan — Officials from the Cagayan Economic Zone Authorities (CEZA) have rescued an endangered species of green sea turtle from the possession of Chinese visitors in Barangay San Vicente, Sta. Ana town, recently.
CEZA Officer-in-Charge Laurence Umayam confirmed last Saturday that CEZA’s Support Services Manager Dhart E. Carpio, lawyer Frederick Madriaga, and Administrative Chief Tito Perlas intercepted the turtle from the Chinese guests.
Before the recovery of the turtle, the Chinese guests were taking photos of turtle while other Chinese were carrying it.
The CEZA officials talked to the Chinese guests to turnover to them the endangered species of turtle and explained to them that catching it is illegal in the Philippines.
Without any hesitation, the Chinese nationals turned over the turtle which measured 58 centimeters long and 55 cm wide to CEZA officials.
Through an interpreter, they told CEZA executives that they bought the endangered turtle – a chelona mydas — from a fisherman in Barangay San Vicente, Sta. Ana town.
“On early morning of the following day, we released the turtle at the coastline of Sta. Ana town with the presence of officials from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), CEZA Deputy Administrator Leonardo Cruz, and other CEZA officials and coast guard,” Umayam said.