ILOILO – The Provincial Bantay Dagat Task Force filed multiple charges against 18 fishermen who were caught fishing using the forbidden Danish seine off the coast of Gigantes Island in Barangay Abong, Carles.
Docketed as VI-II-INQ-17C-00221, the complaint on the violation of Fisheries Administrative Order 246 or the ban on the use of Danish seine or modified Danish seine or Hulbot-Hulbot in Philippine waters was filed in the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office, according to a report from the task force’s leader SPO1 Jose Ronnie Panes on Thursday.
Panes also accused the fishermen of obstruction of justice or violation of Presidential Decree 1829 (docketed as VI-II-INQ-17C-00222) and unauthorized fishing or violation of Section 86 of Republic Act 10654 (Criminal Case No. 4089-C) before the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Balasan-Carles.
The respondents were pilot Herman Tanes of Brgy. Abong, Carles and crew members Levi Aragon, Jerson Belonio, Niel Solis, Joel Beraco, Richie Belonio, Benoy Oñate, Reymon Capinig, Reyman Plaza, Rey De la Cruz, Melchor Capinig, Jessie Martinez, Alfredo Cayayan, Noriel Benuman and Ronel Solis of Brgy. San Antonio, Balud, Masbate.
Also included in the charges were crew members Martin and Kenneth Gomugda of Brgy. Kabalik, San Dionisio and Michael Bantillo of Brgy. Tabugon, Carles.
These fishermen were onboard fishing boat Bherry when the task force intercepted and arrested them 9.79 kilometers from the shoreline of Gigantes Island on March 25.
But the task force failed to retrieve the fishing net from the bottom of the sea when it submerged along with the boat’s tom weight.
Panes alleged the erring fishermen deliberately cut the scaring line which was attached to the tom weight and fishing net right before they were apprehended.
The fishermen were locked in Carles Municipal Police Station and they could only gain temporary liberty if they would post a bail amounting to P34,000.