MANILA, Philippines — A Quezon City court has refused to extend a 72-hour temporary environmental protection order (TEPO), which had momentarily stopped the re-export of 25 dolphins to Singapore.
Quezon City regional trial court branch 101 Judge Evangeline Marigomen ruled during Wednesday’s hearing that Earth Island Institute-Philippines, the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), and several other petitioners were not able to prove that respondents Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) director Asis Perez and the Resorts World violated any law.
In denying the motion for a TEPO extension, Marigomen said, “The Court is constrained to deny the application for a TEPO to enjoin the public respondents from issuing the exportation permit of dolphins, as the petitioners have not proved any violation of law committed by the concerned government agencies.”
The 72-hour TEPO was issued on October 12 after the petitioners sought its issuance to stop the re-export of 25 Solomon Island dolphins to Singapore from the Ocean Adventure Park in Subic Bay Freeport.
The dolphins, they said, were brought to Ocean Adventure for training while the marine park in Singapore was undergoing construction.
The petitioners are now planning to file a motion for reconsideration and are pondering on seeking Marigomen’s voluntary inhibition from the case after the judge compared dolphins with pets during open court deliberations on Wednesday.