GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Police and environment personnel arrested a policeman and two other minors after being caught in possession of illegally hunted bats in a village here over the weekend.
Capt. Abdulsalam Mamalinta Jr., acting chief of city police Station 4, identified the suspects as S/Sgt. Ibañez Faldas, 33, a member of Polomolok municipal police station in South Cotabato, and aliases Kyle, 17, and Carlo, 15.
He said the three were found with 59 heads of large flying fox (Pteropus vampyrus) in an enforcement operation led by personnel from the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) around 2 p.m. Sunday in Purok Guadalupe, Barangay Conel.
Mamalinta said the illegal activity was discovered by CENRO personnel based on a tip from concerned residents.
He said the agency, through its head Elvira Lumayag, immediately coordinated the matter with their station and confirmed the presence of the suspects.
Aside from the large flying foxes, which is considered as among the critical fruit bat species, he said they confiscated from the suspects a 12-gauge shotgun without serial number and six assorted motorcycle units.
“The investigation is ongoing regarding the extent of the illegal hunting activity in the area and the possible involvement of other persons,” Mamalinta said in a report.
The police official said Faldas and the two minors, all residents of Barangay Silway 8 in Polomolok, will be charged through inquest with violation of Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.
The policeman is currently detained at Station 4 in Barangay San Isidro while the minors were brought to the local government-run Bahay Pag-Asa in Barangay Sinawal for temporary custody. (PNA)