Sarangani vlogger in hot water for illegal hunting, possession of wildlife

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 15 February)—At least 39 white-eared brown doves, locally called “alimokon,” were seized from a vlogger and some of his neighbors in Glan, Sarangani province, officials from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)–Region 12 said Wednesday.

Authorities seize white-eared brown doves from a vlogger and his neighbors in Barangay Pangyan, Glan in Sarangani province on Monday (13 February 2023). Photo courtesy of DENR-12

Rosalinda Cortez, head of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office–Glan (CENRO Glan), said they raided the house of the vlogger in Barangay Pangyan after receiving information from concerned residents.

After a week of surveillance, the CENRO Glan sought the help of Major Andrew Banguel, head of the Philippine National Police–Maritime Glan, and raided the village on Monday.

The seized alimokons were illegally caught and kept in cages for wildlife trading, Cortez said.

She said the raiding team failed to arrest the vlogger, whose name was not divulged pending the filing of the criminal case since he was allegedly out hunting wildlife species.

Cortez said the vlogger maintains the Facebook Page Alimokon Glan Sarangani Province, which is now taken down.

Some residents surrendered their pet alimokons upon learning that keeping it without the necessary permit from the DENR is illegal, Cortez said.

Forester Garex Christian Al-ag, chief of CENRO Glan’s monitoring and enforcement section, said the vlogger will face charges for violating Republic Act (RA) 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001.

Among others, RA 9147 prohibits the possession and collection of wildlife species without the necessary permit from the DENR.

One of the white-eared brown doves seized by wildlife enforcers. Photo courtesy of DENR-12

A violator faces an imprisonment of at least one month to four years and a fine of P5,000 to P300,000, depending on the classification of the wildlife species, the law stated.

The seized wildlife species have been turned over to the DENR-12 Regional Wildlife Rescue Center in Lutayan, Sultan Kudarat for examination before they will be released to their natural habitat.

Felix Alicer, DENR-12 director, urged the public to report to authorities illicit wildlife activities in line with the efforts for a balanced ecosystem.

This is the second operation conducted by DENR-12 against vloggers of wildlife species in Region 12 this month.

On February 1, the agency also seized 21 wildlife species from vloggers in Tampakan, South Cotabato. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)