Palawan RTC convicts 9 Chinese of poaching off Palawan | Global News
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Palawan RTC convicts 9 Chinese of poaching off Palawan

/ 02:14 PM November 24, 2014
dead-turtle-0513

In this photo taken Saturday, May 10, 2014, a Philippine National Police Maritime Group officer holds a dead green sea turtle as he unloads them from the Chinese vessel Qiongqionghai 09063 at Honda Bay Wharf in Puerto Princesa city.  AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – The Palawan Regional Trial Court convicted nine Chinese fishermen for poaching off Hasa-Hasa Shoal (Half Moon Shoal) in the disputed waters of the West Philippine Sea.

Provincial Prosecutor Allen Ross Rodriguez said Puerto Princesa city Regional Trial Court Branch 51 Judge Ambrosio de Luna found the fishermen guilty of violating Section 87 of Republic Act 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code for poaching and Section 97 of RA 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation Act for taking of rare, threatened or endangered species.

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Convicted were identified as boat captain Chen Yi Quan, chief engineer Chen Ze Hao and crews Shi Xian Xiong, Shi Liang Duong, He Chuan, Huang Ji Xuan, He Sheng Bao, He Yuan Cheng, and Lu Chuan Fang.

“For violation of Section 87 or poaching, the court meted each of them a fine of $100, 000 (P4.3 million) each or in case of non-payment, a subsidiary imprisonment of six months,” Rodriguez said over the phone Monday.

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He said the dollar amount of the fine was brought by the fact that “the Philippines has adopted the provision of the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Seas or UNCLOS” when it comes to poaching.

About the violation of Section 97 of RA 9147, the prosecutor said the court imposed a penalty of P120, 000 each and or imprisonment ranging from 12 to 20 years.

The Chinese fishermen are currently detained at the Palawan Provincial Jail pending payment of the penalty, said Rodriguez.

The fishermen were caught last May 6 for poaching. They yielded 216 live turtles, like Green Sea and Hawks Bill considered all critically endangered species of wildlife, and 381 assorted dead turtles

This is the same court that convicted 12 Chinese fishermen for poaching where its vessel ran aground near Tubbataha Reef Natural Park in Palawan.

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TAGS: Chinese poachers, Half Moon Shoal, South China Sea, West Philippine Sea
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