GENERAL SANTOS CITY – An alleged online illegal wildlife trader has been nabbed by the authorities from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 12 and Philippine National Police (PNP) for possessing and trading local wild live spiders during a recent buy-bust operation here.
DENR-12 Regional Executive Director Atty. Felix S. Alicer said that his office received an information that the suspect was allegedly selling wild live spiders through social media including a photo of the official receipt from a local courier of its shipment in Metro Manila.
Director Alicer immediately created a composite team that will conduct an investigation of the reported illegal wildlife trade.
Forester Dirie P. Macabaning, chief of the DENR-12 Enforcement Division, said that they have coordinated with the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Gensan and PNP to plan the entrapment operation of the suspected wildlife trafficker.
During the entrapment operation, one of the DENR-12 personnel acted as the poseur-buyer and around 1:30 PM of July 13, 2021 at the National Highway, Barangay Apopong, the team apprehended the subject person for possessing and trading 51 local wild live spiders with spider enclosure and syringe.
Criminal complaint was filed before the Office of the City Prosecutor against the perpetrator in violation of Section 27 of the Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act for trading of wildlife and collecting, hunting and possessing wildlife, their by-products and derivatives.
Chief Macabaning said that this should serve as a warning against individuals who collect, gather, and sell wildlife and rare plants.
He said that the DENR-12 has widen its scope especially in social media to monitor more efficiently the activities on illegal wildlife trade.
Meanwhile, the DENR-CENRO of Gensan have initially sent letters to the managers of the courier services in Gensan reminding them that a mere possession of wildlife without Certificate of Wildlife Registration (CWR), illegal trade of wildlife (flora and fauna) and forest products and transport of the same without Local Transport Permit from the DENR are punishable pursuant to RA 9147 and Presidential Decree No. 705 otherwise known as “Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines.”
The agency will also conduct an intensive information, education and communication campaign to various stakeholders, including the courier services, in relation to RA 9147 and its prohibited acts to prevent further wildlife exploitation.
The DENR also appealed to the public to report immediately any illegal wildlife selling in their area through the DENR-12 official social media page at @DENR12Official or hotline numbers 0963-930-5731 and 0955-753-7091 | Photos by: DENR-12 Enforcement Division