The two men were arrested in separate police operations allegedly for illegally selling animals such as piranhas, which is prohibited in the Philippines.
In an exclusive report by Emil Sumangil on GMA News “24 Oras”, it was said that the first suspect was arrested in Antipolo City after an operative pretended to be a delivery rider to pick up the aquatic animals for sale.
Several pieces of the so-called common snapping turtle and the red-bellied piranha, which are prohibited in the country, were recovered from the suspect.
According to the Philippine National Police Maritime Group, many people do not know that the sale of fish such as piranha, which is a carnivorous fish, is strictly prohibited.
“Ang atin pong piranha ay ipinagbabawal under RA 10654 under Section 102 at ang mga piranha po kasi ay pinangangambahan na makapunta sa ating mga katubigan at patayin ang other aquatic animals po natin,” said Northern NCR Maritime Group Police Major Robert Alvin Gutierrez.
The recovered piranhas have been given to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
According to the PNP, the court will determine what to do with the piranhas.
2 suspects arrested for selling piranha, common snapping turtle
“’Yung mga common snapping turtle hindi naman considered as endanger. However, all non-native na reptiles under the law kailangan pong kumuha sila ng permit,” added Gutierrez.
Depensa naman ng suspek, “Matagal ko na po kasing mga alaga po ‘yun, years na. Eh nasaktuhan na ayaw ko na sila sa bahay, kaysa sa kung saan mapunta, inano ko na lang…”
In Quezon City, a red-shouldered macaw bird was rescued by the authorities from the suspect, who also made a transaction with undercover police.
The suspect, who is a college student, said that the money he would have earned from selling the said bird was to pay for his tuition fee.
“Hindi ko po alam na bawal kasi po may papel po akong hawak pero hindi po pala valid,” the suspect said.
“Ang entrapment operation po natin ay nakuha through online. So, parehas po ‘yung huli natin sa Antipolo at Quezon City, they will also be facing charges under RA 10175 or ‘yung ating Cybercrime and Prevention Act,” said Gutierrez.