Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bantay Dagat and the Three Members of the Philippine Shooting Team

In my previous post, I touched upon the scandalous and inappropriate use of a Bantay Dagat boat by members of the Philippine Shooting Team namely Tet Lara, Jade De Guzman and Mike De Guzman. In that post, the team members were shown in a group photo, similar to this one, disembarking with their fresh kill. Although I was pretty sure that " Bantay Dagat " was emblazoned on the side of the boat, one could still argue that I was mistaken. After all, only a few letters were visible with the hunters' legs obscuring the rest. But, we now have a better picture that leaves no doubt in our minds. Call it Divine Intervention. Here it is, manna from heaven. Let there be no doubt that God is a nature lover. All the world's plants and animals are his creation too. And those who protect them are his soldiers on Earth. Let's take a look at this photograph.

In this photograph, we again see the humiliating acts to which our natural treasures were subjected to. Take note of the pile of dead wildlife lying at the bow of the boat. It must be approximately 1.5 feet high, or 46 cm., and some might have been unloaded already. Here you can clearly see the name on the side of the boat. You can also discern the seal of the regional branch of Bantay Dagat very near the bow. It says, " Camarines Norte. " Well, that kinda narrows it done, doesn't it? They were not in Argentina as their now defunct website suggested. They were actually hunting protected wildlife in Bicol where, the last time I checked, Republic Act 9147 and the Philippine Animal Welfare Act were in effect. It has also become clear that they were in wrongful possession of a boat intended for the protection of fisheries, using it instead for their personal pleasure and their environmentally destructive pastime.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) of the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) is the lead agency for Bantay Dagat. I believe with all my heart that BFAR as a whole, was unwilling, then and now, to be a participant in such hunting parties. As I said in my previous post, they are the good guys. However, it is obvious that someone further down the line at BFAR, perhaps at the grassroots level, lost sight of the bureau's noble cause and cooperated. Thus, the bureau's good name was compromised. Does the bureau have anything to say about these hunters using their boat to violate the R.A. 9147 and the Animal Welfare Act? Or, are they going to stay mum, play safe and accept a sullied reputation to protect the obviously guilty? It's a serious misappropriation of government funding. It would be very reassuring to those who care about Philippine wildlife if the bureau made sure that such faux pas does not happen again.

For those of you who want to help save Philippine wildlife and its environment, please sign this online petition and spread the word via website linking or simple emailing. Thank you.

7 comments:

siyerwin said...

Grabe talaga 'tong mga to. I'm lost for words... I really hope death was quick for most of those birds... Didn't know they were that huge and had that kind of a wingspan...

We lost a lot of beautiful creatures that we'll never get back because of these morons.

Abs said...

Let me comment this photo:

Surprising- in the sense that these people, and perhaps some of the members of Bantay Dagat, are IGNORANT of the Wildlife Act! The arrogance of these guys is a manifestation of their ignorance!

Not surprising- because this happens all the time! Not just in the rank of BFAR but also in other government offices including DENR, PNP, among others.

Abs said...

Hindi lang pala ignorante tong mga taong to...BOBO rin pala!

....DepEd, please send 'em to grade 1 or to SPED!

Anna Maria G said...

Thank you for posting this and the previous one. I haven't had the opportunity to thank you (and I've been leading people here!)for your well-thought analysis of the issues involved.

Chessbuff said...

Anna Maria G,

I thank you and all sympathetic visitors to my blog. We've got a lot of work to do with animal welfare however endless it may seem. It's our time on Earth, and so we have to step up to the plate and do our best. Future generations will do their share, and they will probably be more numerous than us. I see ourselves as laying the foundations for a more animal-friendly, less cruel society in the future.

chukoy said...

im a mountaineer during my student years and now im woking in house of representatves the lower house im very much deeply touch with this site thank god that there are still people who are concern with wildlife along with nature i just hope that this would be an eye opener for more and as for this people we could only hope that in a sooner time they would stop this stupid wrong doing and stop using government properties such as the boat for useless act again lets continue to protect mother nature ...

Chessbuff said...

Greetings, Chukoy. Count yourself as one of the blessed. One person cannot do everything but one person can do one thing, and that one thing could be a world of difference to an abused animal or person. Keep up the good spirit and make a difference whenever you can. Do nate, volunteer, write, or simply stop an abusive situation when you see one. Thanks for posting.