LLDA condemns ‘brutal’ killings of 2 fishers
SAN PEDRO CITY –– The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), a government agency tasked with the management of the country’s largest inland water body, on Wednesday raised the alarm over the killings of two lake fishermen in Laguna province.
It was the first time for the policy-making body to issue such a strong statement condemning the “brutal killings” of Jayson Capre, 27, and Mark Anthony Mejia, 34, residents of Barangay Sinalhan in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna.
The victims were last seen alive on May 3, when they left to fish in the lake.
They were officially tagged as missing persons in the police reports until Capre’s body was found floating in the lake on May 5, while Mejia’s body on May 6. Both bodies were recovered in the vicinity of Muntinlupa City in Metro Manila.
The LLDA said both fishermen bore multiple stab wounds and their hands and feet tied up with fishing nets. Their heads were also covered with plastic bags.
A missing person report by the Laguna police quoted the victims’ relatives as saying that other fishermen saw the victims being chased by local lake watchmen just before they went missing.
But a source in the LLDA, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they also received reports that the two had entered a private fish pen to steal fish.
The business of bangus and tilapia aquaculture has long thrived in Laguna de Bay, with about 10,000 hectares of the 90,000-hectare water surface, occupied by private fish pens guarded by caretakers.
On the other hand, it has also become a common practice of the smaller fishermen to swim through these fish pens, by cutting through the underwater fishnets, to steal the fish stocks.
Residents near the lake have come to call them “seamen.”
“Nais po naming ipahayag ang matinding pagkondena sa pangyayaring ito; ang LLDA po ay kaisa ng lahat ng sektor sa paghahanap ng hustisya para sa mga biktima,” the agency said Wednesday.
(We would like to express our strong condemnation over this act; the LLDA is one with all the sectors in seeking justice for the victims)
“Pagtulungan po natin na makamit ang hustisya para sa mga kaawa-awang biktima ng malagim na krimeng ito,” it added.
(Let us all cooperate to obtain justice for the pathetic victims of this atrocious crime.)
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