Palawan court convicts 12 Chinese poachers
MANILA, Philippines—The Palawan Regional Trial Court on Tuesday convicted 12 Chinese fishermen for poaching after their vessel ran aground in Tubbataha Reef Natural Park in April last year.
Provincial Prosecutor Allen Ross Rodriguez said 11 of the poachers were sentenced from six to 10 years while the captain was meted with a penalty of 12 years imprisonment.
The 12 Chinese fishermen are Che Li Yong, 51; Fan Lenl Tie; Xuan Ven Fe, 33; Wang Yu Zhen; Lizhong Sheng, 47; Lizhiming, 42; Liu Cheng Tie, 44; Liu Wen Jie, 27; Tung Zhue We; Tang Hai Liny, 42; Wen Hong Min; Qi Vixn, 39.
Aside from prison term, he said the court also imposed a penalty of $100,000 or (P4.3 million) for each of the accused.
All the 12 poachers will be serving their prison sentence at the Iwahig Penal colony in Palawan.
Currently, Rodriguez said the Chinese nationals are out on bail.
They are facing a separate case for bribery after they attempted to offer money to members of the Tubbataha Management Office in exchange for their release.
The Chinese fishermen have been convicted of violating Republic Act 10067 or the Tubbataha Protected Area Law of 2009 for poaching.
Park rangers recovered around 400 boxes from the fisherman’s vessel containing slaughtered anteaters or “balintong.”
The grounding of the Chinese fishing vessel happened three months after the USS Guardian, a minesweeper of the US Navy, also ran aground on the reef, destroying more than 2, 000 square meters of coral reef.
The same court is also handling the case of the nine Chinese fishermen apprehended for poaching off Half Moon Shoal or Hasa-Hasa Shoal some 60 nautical miles from Palawan early this year.
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