Saturday, December 06, 2008

Philippines. Dog Meat Trade. Dogs Rescued from Slaughter. Angelo Nicolas. Quezon City Police. December 2008.

Some good news. As much as I criticize people for their cruel acts, abusive behaviour, and inhumane work, I also give praise to those who rightfully deserve it. For this post, I've got Inspector Angelo Nicolas, head of the Quezon City Police District’s Anti-Carnapping Unit (Philippines). What does carnapping have to do with animal abuse? Well, Insp. Nicolas received a tip from an animal rights advocate concerning the illegal transport of animals, dogs in this case. These dogs, all seventy of them, were meant for the meat market in the northern Luzon city of Baguio.

Baguio used to be the Summer capital of the Philippines, at least when I was growing up in the country in the 1960s. If my memory serves me right, the city has an elevation of 10,000 feet. God blessed this city with pine trees, clean mountain air and a cool climate. I used to look forward to weekend trips to Baguio for these reasons, but I believe that it has gone to pot since I was there last. Noxious fumes pervade along its main road, Session Road, and now the city has become linked with eateries serving dog meat plus all the butchery that comes along with it.

There is always a shipment of dogs destined for Baguio's butcher shops, and so it is just a matter of intercepting these runs. A local representative for the Network for Animals sent the tip, and Nicolas and his men went on alert. The vehicle would be an L300 van, headed for Baguio, running along E. De los Santos Avenue (EDSA), and loaded with more or less 70 dogs. Nicolas and his men caught site of the van, plate number WLT 732, at around 130am last Thursday. These dog transporters travel during ungodly hours to avoid detection. The interdiction was made, two men arrested, and the dogs liberated from their captivity and certain death. The transporters were Ernesto Zapata, 44, a resident of Pulo dela Paz in BiƱan, Laguna, and Jason Ortega, 30, and a resident of San Pedro, Laguna. May you burn in Hell in the future. It is estimated that each dog could fetch P500 to P700 ($15). It's a shame and a pity.

According to Nicolas, “The dogs were cramped into wooden cages and some of the animals could barely breathe because of the plastic strings around their mouth...The suspects had claimed that the man responsible for this is a certain Enrique Palanca, who has been arrested for the same offense before but is now out on bail.” The plot thickens. The Laguna to Baguio run seems to be one of the main routes of the dog meat trade. The police sent the dogs to the Philippine Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. As for the transporters, they could get six months to two years of imprisonment, or a fine of P1,000 to P5,000 per dog. Prosecuting this case is a different matter, and let's hope that these guys end up being punished.

So, congratulations for a job well-done to Inspector Nicolas and the Quezon City police. More power to you.

More on Insp. Angelo Nicolas:


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