9 of 11 Chinese poachers face rap for violating fisheries code
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday filed a case for violation of the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 before the Palawan court against nine of the 11 Chinese poachers arrested off Hasa-Hasa Shoal (Half Moon Shoal) in disputed waters of the West Philippine Sea.
Palawan Provincial Prosecutor Allen Ross Rodriguez said the case against the two Chinese poachers was dismissed because they are minors.
“We turned them over to the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) and DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) for their repatriation,” Rodriguez said in a phone interview.
The nine poachers are facing a case for violation of Section 87 (Poaching in Philippine Waters) and Section 97 (Fishing or Taking of Rare, Threatened or Endangered Species).
Rodriguez said they gave the nine poachers a public lawyer to represent them but the accused refused, insisting that they did nothing wrong because they are fishing in Chinese waters.
He said he tried to convince a Chinese consul who assisted the poachers to be represented by the public lawyer but the official also refused.
“Still, the public lawyer stayed while we are conducting the inquest proceedings,” Rodriguez said.
The DOJ recommended P30,000 bail each for violation of section 87 and P40,000 each for Section 97.
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