10 Chinese poachers pay P9-M fine

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TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan: Ten Chinese fishermen caught for illegal poaching off the waters of Cagayan and Batanes provinces have paid the P9,093,000 penalty and will be deported soon.

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Lawyer Samuel Agaloos, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) enforcement chief, said the Chinese have violated Sections 91, 96, and 97 of Republic Act (RA) 10654 as amended, or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998.

Citing Section 91 of the fisheries law, Agaloos said “the entry of any foreign fishing vessel in Philippine water shall constitute prima facie presumption that the vessel is engaged in fishing in Philippine waters.”

On May 25, Lt. Jeffrey Collado, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) commanding officer and BFAR law enforcers apprehended the Chinese in a hot pursuit operation in the waters off Camiguin Island.

The Chinese poachers’ vessel registered as M/V Lady Luck and marked Subic with an inverted Philippine flag, tried to escape and even rammed the apprehending officers’ vessel.

Collado aded they found black corals (Antipatharia) on the Chinese vessel in violation of Section 96 of the fisheries law banning the exploitation of corals.

While its living tissue is brightly colored, it is called “black coral” based on the distinguished black or dead brown color of its skeleton, also known as ekaha ku moana, which is the official state gem of Hawaii.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) here said the Chinese will be deported as soon as they receive the summary deportation order.

Earlier, BI Alien Control Officer Geronimo Santos said he has recommended the issuance of a summary deportation order.

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