Three out of 10 Philippine pangolins hunted in Liminangcong, Taytay town that were rescued from alleged smugglers were released by the enforcement team of Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PSCD) to the wild in Palawan on July 8, 2019.
These three pangolins rescued on June 28 were the remaining survivors after they were transported from Taytay town passing through Batangas province on their way to Chinatown in Binondo, Manila.
The smuggler reached Batangas by riding a small boat from Palawan. The suspects were caught in Tagaytay City in Cavite onboard a shuttle van.
The suspects were identified as Simforoso Salazar, JordanTorrequimada and Victor Canunjag. Both Torrequimada and Canunjag were from Roxas, Palawan while Salazar is a resident of Calatagan, Batangas.
PCSD ECAN Regulation and Enforcement Division OIC Levita Lagrada said this incident calls for stronger cooperation of the local government units (LGUs) with the PCSD staff in implementing Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Act.
Lagrada emphasized the need for the locals to get involved in watching over for illegal activities and reporting them immediately to the authorities.
“The whole Palawan is surrounded by waters making it prone to poachers who look for unguarded coasts to smuggle wildlife. For this reason, the fight against wildlife trafficking ideally begins at the barangay level,” Lagrada said in an statement.
“PCSD Enforcement team maintains the confidentiality of the location where the pangolins were released to protect them from poachers,” the statement further said.
Dubbed as the “world’s most trafficked mammal”, pangolins are being hunted to extinction due to the high demand of foreign markets for its scales and meat that used in traditional medicine.
Philippine Pangolin, locally known as “balintong”, thrives in Palawan alone. It is classified as critically endangered.