DOJ asked: Stop 8 Koreans in pit bull case from leaving
A private animal rights group is asking the Department of Justice (DOJ) out to secure a hold-departure order against eight Koreans who were arrested in a police raid on an underground dog fight club and a farm in San Pablo City in this province.
“The thing is as soon as they are charged, (the Koreans) could easily post bail. We are filing a hold-departure order to make sure they could not slip out of the country,” said Anna Cabrera, executive director of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).
Members of the provincial police and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) swooped down on the secret dog fight arena in Barangay Limao in Calauan town and a farm in San Pablo on March 30. Thirty fighting pit bulls from the arena and 236 others from the farm, according to the PAWS.
The Koreans were arrested for allegedly streaming live dog fights and collecting bets from foreign patrons through the Internet. They were identified as Lee Gwi Woo, 21; Jeong Yeon Hwal, 31; Noh Min Chul, 44; Lee Kyung Won, 31; Kim Young Hwan, 29; Hyun Ho Han, 45; Hong Jeong Oh, 43; and Kim Do Kyung, 41.
The CIDG was expected to charge them with illegal gambling and violations of the Animal Welfare Act at a court in San Pablo yesterday afternoon.
Five of the eight Koreans had already been arrested for a similar offense in Indang, Cavite, in December 2011. They were Noh Min Chul, Lee Gwi Woo, Lee Kyung Won, Kim Young Hwan and Jeong Yeon Hwal.
However, they were released shortly after posting bail. “In a month’s time, they were able to resume operating the dog fights, only this time in Laguna,” Cabrera said.
The PAWS stressed the need to amend the Animal Welfare Act of 1998 in light of the raids in Cavite and Laguna.
House Bill No. 5849, authored by Bagong Henerasyon Representative Bernadette Herrera-Dy, seeks to increase the prison term imposed on animal rights offenders from six months to two years to 6-12 years, and the bail from from only P1,000-P5,000 to P50,000.
“We are appealing to the government to make this bill a priority bill. (The foreigners) are making a fool out of the Filipinos by choosing to do their illegal activities here because they could easily get away with it,” Cabrera said.
Of the 266 dogs found, 17 had to be put down by euthanasia while one was found dead inside a steel drum in the farm.
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