Police files charges vs crew of bigtime fishing vessels
By Bong Pedalino
Maasin City (19 October) -- Eleven crew members of three commercial fishing boats led by their three skippers are facing charges for violation of Section 93, Republic Act 8550, particularly on the use of superlights as a wholesale method in catching fish.
Named respondents of the charges that were filed at the Provincial Fiscal's Office on Monday, October 16, were Noel Barredo, 41, married, resident of Kapitbahayan, Dagat-Dagatan, Metro Manila and skipper of FB Andromeda; Ricardo Jorge, 44, married, leader of FV Baby Ocean Star III, from Block 15, Lot 19, El Teacher Village, Dagat-Dagatan, Metro Manila; Emilio Toledo, 37, single, from number 34, Kapitbahayan, Navotas, Metro Manila, the boat captain of LB Titan, and the rest of the crews.
According to SPOIV Generoso Guerra of the Investigation Section at Alfredo K. Bantug Police Provincial Office, the suspects were apprehended Sunday, 2:00 o'clock in the morning October 16, while fishing off the waters of Limasawa.
It was a joint operation conducted by the Bantay-Dagat Police teams of Limasawa, Padre Burgos, and the provincial PNP but the leader of the operating team was Police Inspector Reynaldo Torlao, Police Chief of Padre Burgos town, SPOIV Guerra told PIA in a phone interview.
Aside from possessing strong-powered lamps, the Police also learned upon arrest that the franchise area of the operators was specified in Palawan waters, and that the owner was Royal Fishing Corp. based in Metro Manila, with the name of one Arturo Pangilinan as the listed owner.
The three arrested vessels and their crews are now anchored at the city's pier under the custody of the Maasin and Provincial Police, as the boats are to be used as exhibit in the case.
On Friday, October 20, the preliminary hearing of the case was set to be held at the Macrohon Municipal Trial Court, and related issues on penalty and bail were the concerns of the Judge, Guerra said.
Marginal fishermen along the coastal waters of Maasin city had been complaining over the past three to four weeks of the presence of big commercial fishing vessels in their fishing ground which obviously threatened their main source of livelihood.
Acting on these reports, the new Police Provincial Director Sr. Supt. Prudencio De La Cruz dispatched his men leading to the successful arrest. (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]