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P25.3M ‘taklobos’ seized in Cebu

December 12, 2021 People's Tonight 271 views

AN estimated P25.3 million worth of endangered giant clams or ‘taklobos’ illegally harvested in the waters of Cebu were seized by agents of the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) in a buy-bust operation in Oslob, PNP-CIDG director, Major General Albert Ignatius D. Ferro said on Sunday.

The official said that one suspect identified as Jagger Vitorillo, a 41-year old resident of Purok Lubi-Lubi in Barangay Poblacion, Oslob was arrested during the sting conducted 5 p.m. Friday by members of the CIDG Mandaue City Field Unit with the help of the Air Force Intelligence Unit, the Oslob Municipal Police Station and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

Recovered from the suspect were the P200,000 worth of boodle money topped by a marked P1,000 bill and 89 pieces of assorted ‘Taklobos’ weighing nearly 1.7 ton.

Ferro said the endangered marine products were being sold by the suspect for P15,000 a kilo. They have been placed under the custody of the BFAR Region 7.

The suspect is now facing charges for violation of Republic Act 8550 otherwise known as the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 as amended by RA 10654 which prohibits the possession, sale and exportation of giant clams. He was locked up at the Mandaue CIDG detention facility.

The PNP-CIDG director said the suspect’s arrest is in line with their continuing enforcement of their Oplan: Kalikasan which aims to help preserve the country’s natural resources and go after those who degrades it.

“The protection of our nature and natural resources is everyone’s responsibility. And our collaboration with the other government agencies and law enforcement units serves as our serious commitment to stop, if not, eradicate such illegal activities,” said Ferro.