Thursday, 31 May 2012 12:43
Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje hailed the ruling of the lower court convicting and imposing penalty on a resident of Brgy. Impasugong, Bukidnon for killing and cooking a juvenile Philippne eagle.
“This would serve as a lesson and warning to other would-be violators of the law on wildlife resources conservation and protection,” Paje said.
He added that the long arm of the law will always catch all transgressors against the environment.
Paje said that, under Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9147 also called Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act, the killing of a critically endangered species is punishable by imprisonment of between six and 12 years or a fine of between PhP100,000 to PhP 1 million.
Recently, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Malaybalay in Bukidnon imposed a punishment by slapping a penalty amounting to PhP100,000 on a certain Bryan Bala-on after finding him guilty of killing and cooking a young male Philippine eagle.
The government is exerting effort focused at preserving of what is left of the critically endangered species whose number is fast dwindling to only few number of 300 pairs left scattered over the country particularly in the forests in Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao.
In an effort to raise national awareness of preserving the remnants of the Philippine Eagle, Presidential Proclamation No. 79 was issued on February 24, 1999 mandating June 4-10 every year thereafter Philippine Eagle Week.
“This will always instill in the minds and hearts of the Filipino people the significance of the Philippine eagle as a biological indicator of the forest ecosystems and as national symbol,” Paje said.
Paje said the dwindling number of Philippine eagles in the country also reflects the country’s dwindling forests.
“That’s why we also have to seriously look at investing at inforcing laws to keep the existing forests intact and to rehabilitate damaged environments,” Paje said.
Paje also reminded everyone not to hurt or kill the bird, and if they can catch a wounded or ailing Philippine eagle, they should bring it immediately to the nearest DENR office in the area.
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