P.2 million offered for arrest of pig dumping culprits
Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said the reward comes from his own pocket, as he asserted that the money would be given to informants who could conclusively pinpoint the culprits so they may be charged in court.
P.2 million offered for arrest of pig dumping culprits
Non Alquitran (The Philippine Star) - September 18, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro yesterday offered a P200,000 reward for information leading to those responsible for the dumping last week of 58 dead swine in the city’s river.

Teodoro said the reward comes from his own pocket, as he asserted that the money would be given to informants who could conclusively pinpoint the culprits so they may be charged in court.

“We will file a writ of kalikasan with the Marikina RTC (regional trial court),” he said in Filipino. “Because we are the aggrieved party in this incident. We are the ones affected.”

Teodoro said he would file criminal and civil charges against the wrongdoers along with cases of violation of the clean water act and code on sanitation. Whether the people responsible are aware of it or not, the mayor said they can still be held accountable for dumping dead swine.

 “The deaths are not the owner’s fault. It’s about not following proper treatment and disposal. There should be accountability,” Teodoro stressed. “You may not have dumped it in the river and just placed it by the water but when it rains and it gets carried in the river, that’s indirect dumping,” he added.

GMA News reported yesterdy that the ASF may have entered the country through bags of trash at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Also yesterday, a team from the Laguna Lake Development Authority and Marikina local government took water samples along the stretch of Marikina River – from the Roman Garden in Marikina; Circulo Verde in Eastwood, QC; Barangay Calumpang; Barangay Tumana and Barangay Nangka – to check for possible contamination.

Meanwhile, an official of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Cagayan Valley allayed fears of the entry of African swine fever (ASF), following the discovery of 13 swine carcasses scattered in a vacant lot in Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya on Monday.

DA regional technical director for operations Robert Busania admitted that the dead animals were not properly disposed of by their owner after the sow died giving birth. He added that the dead piglets were given by the owner to a group of drunken men, who then threw the carcasses in the vacant lot when they started to smell.

In Tacloban City, Leyte, DA Region 8 executive director Milo delos Reyes on Monday announced that no report of ASF cases has reached his office. Neither was there actual cases found or observed in blood samples collected from Ormoc City in Leyte and Las Navas in Northern Samar, two LGUs that promptly reported farmers’ complaints that some pigs in these areas have been manifesting ASF-like symptoms.

A thorough investigation by the DA and LGU-based veterinarians found that the cause of death was just an ordinary respiratory disease in hogs.

In San Fernando, Pampanga, Gov. Dennis Pineda banned the entry of all live pigs into the province through Executive Order No. 34, which he signed last Sept. 13. The governor issued the prohibition even though there has been no ASF outbreak in the province.

Swine inventory in Pampanga totaled 51,415 metric tons live weight in 2018, making it the third highest producer in Central Luzon after Bulacan (259,677 MT) and Tarlac (98,591 MT), according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

He said the ban is temporary and will be lifted based on the advice of the Bureau of Animal Industry.

“With respect to pork and pork-related products, only those with National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) seal, or with appropriate Certificate of Meat Inspection issued by NMIS, shall be allowed entry into the province, with the exception of those coming from ASF affected areas,” a part of the three-page order read.

Reacting to the discovery of dead pigs floating in the Marikina River and a creek in Barangay Silangan, Quezon City, environmentalists from the EcoWaste Coalition urged pig farmers to report sick pigs to the authorities and to coordinate with them for the safe disposal of dead animals which may be infected with ASF.

“We appeal to affected hog raisers to ensure the safe disposal of carcasses to prevent polluting the environment, especially our water resources,” said Jovito Benosa, Zero Waste campaigner of the EcoWaste Coalition.

By cooperating with their city or municipal veterinarians, hog raisers can be promptly assisted by trained government personnel on the proper way of disposing dead animals and in cleaning and disinfecting the environs of infected pigs, he added.

Benosa also reminded the public that dumping dead animals in waterways will be a violation of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, and RA 9275, the Clean Water Act, noting that violators may be held civilly and criminally liable.

In Manila, the Veterinary Inspection Board (VIB) yesterday told Mayor Isko Moreno that the city is “way ahead” in its campaign against the spread of ASF, particularly the operations against the sale of hot meat or “botcha.”

VIB special enforcement squad chief Nick Santos said they are checking all possible points of entry and distribution channels like ports and markets, as well as cold storage facilities in Tondo and the Binondo area, to ensure that no hogs affected by ASF will enter the city. – With Miriam Desacada, Cecille Suerte Felipe, Raymund Catindig, Rey Galupo, Ric Sapnu, Rhodina Villanueva, Roel Pareño

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