By Betheena Kae Unite
Over a hundred kilograms of endangered species were intercepted by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) when two men tried to ship the packages to Sorsogon on Saturday.
Erwin Laurio and Joseph Bajar, both residents of Mobo, Masbate, were about to transport the goods that looked like bags of clothes at first sight when PCG personnel inspected the bags and foiled the shipment.
According to the PCG Operations Unit in Masbate, the endangered marine species were placed in five big green bags and two sacks.
Upon Mandatory pre-departure inspection at Masbate Port Saturday, 52 kilograms of alligator pipefish, 33.5 kilograms of sea cucumber, 30 kilograms of sharks fin, and four kilograms of clam were discovered inside the bags.
It was disclosed that they were supposed to be transported via Mbca “Phoenix-2” which was bound to Pilar, Sorsogon.
The suspects were already under the custody of Coast Guard Station Masbate.
They are facing charges of Republic Act 10654 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, Sec 102 that prohibits the fishing or taking of rare, threatened or endangered species.
Personnel from the Bureau of Aquatic and Fisheries Resources – Region 5 later gathered samples of the seized marine species for further testing and proper disposition.