The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Central Visayas confiscated at least 33 heads of birds that were being sold by three people along Apitong Street in Cebu City.
Seized by DENR personnel and operatives from the Philippine National Police Regional Office last June 22 were a common Hill myna, 28 Lovebirds, two Lovebirds Black mask and two Tarictic hornbill.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, the Hill myna is classified as a threatened species while the Tarictic hornbill is endangered species.
“Threatened is a general term to denote species or subspecies considered as critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable or other accepted categories of wildlife whose population is at risk of extinction,” said DENR 7 Regional Director Dr. Isabelo R. Montejo in a statement.
Endangered species, on the other hand, refers to species or subspecies that are not critically endangered but whose survival in the wild is at risk.
The three vendors who were trying to sell the birds failed to present necessary permits, they were identified as spouses Benjamin and Mirabel Abella, and Darwin Abella of Barangay Gudalupe, Cebu City.
A case was filed against them before the Regional Trial Court on June 25 in violation of Republic Act No. 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act. They were released after they posted bail of P8,000 each.
“We will enforce the existing laws as instructed by DENR Secretary Ramon JP Paje as we want to conserve and protect wildlife species and their habitats to promote ecological balance and enhance biological diversity,” Montejo added.
Montejo also said that illegal trade of endangered species is penalized by a fine of P200,000 and a jail term of two years while the killing of endangered animals carries the penalty of imprisonment of six years and a fine of P500,000.