The wounded and lifeless sea turtle that was recovered off the seas of Caohagan Island (PRO7 photos)

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CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES- Alert maritime policemen here arrested yesterday afternoon, July 6, 2019, three Badjao fishermen whom they chance for killing a sea turtle off the shores of Caohagan island in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. A spot report reaching the Police Regional Office (PRO7) identified the three as Darami Radja, 50, Julius Asamsa, 49, and Barayan Alim, 32, all residents of Sitio Puntod, Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City.

In his report to PRO7 Regional Director Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas, Regional Maritime Unit (RMU7) regional chief, Col. Genaro Sapera, said, that, while his men were patrolling in the area, they chanced on the three throwing a sea turtle to the sea after seeing them approaching the patrol boat. The suspects were aboard a motorized pump boat and when the policemen came near, they saw the lifeless and wounded turtle floating.

“While approaching the said pump boat (about 50 meters away), the team saw the said persons threw one sea turtle overboard and immediately, the seaborne team proceeded along the side of the pump boat and saw one sea turtle floating. The team rescued the sea turtle and discovered that it was lifeless with a spear wound on its carapace,” a portion of the spot report a copy of which furnished to Inews.Ph reads.

The team led by Major Jose los Banos immediately arrested the three as they also discovered that their pump boat marked “Harry” had pieces of evidence for “se turtle poaching.” The evidence was two (2) improvised spear guns, two (2) improvised diving fins and two (2) face masks.

Sea turtle poaching is prevalent in the seas off Lapu-Lapu, Cordova and Bohol as turtle meat commands a high price and are in demand in a village in Cebu City that is known for their sour and spicy sea turtle soup called “nilarang.” Customers mostly men trooped to a carenderia in the area just to eat with “nilarang” as their viand believing that sea turtles are aphrodisiac. /AAJ


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