2 more witnesses needed in case over butchered turtle

7 February 2012

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has yet to file the case against MV Hannah II vessel owner Hannah Parks, vessel crew, and the foreign missionaries over the butchered green sea turtle.

In a phone interview Monday, Emmanuel Isip, regional technical director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), said Jodelnarh Letegio, TV5 cameraman, has already executed his affidavit of witness before the City Prosecution Office (CPO) Monday afternoon.

Isip said they are yet to gather at least two more witnesses from among residents who personally saw the act of garbage-throwing of the inedible parts of the green turtle.

Isip said the affidavit of Letegio contains of what he saw when he took the video footage.

He said Letegio, in his affidavit, testified that he saw the inedible parts of the butchered turtle specifically the head and flipper.

Letegio's affidavit was subscribed to and sworn before prosecutor Faizal Padate.

Isip said the copy of the video footage will be presented as evidence before the court during the case trial.

DENR-Davao Regional Director Jim O. Sampulna earlier said they have sent a letter to the management of TV5 network last week to request for a copy of the video footage of the crew on the dumping of turtle parts into a garbage bin at the Sta. Ana pier.

The network was also asked to submit an affidavit and stand as witness to the case that the DENR will be filing.

Isip called on other witnesses to come out and give their sworn statement about the incident.

He said they can finally file the case before the CPO as soon as at least two witnesses testify and execute their affidavits.

He said a violation of Republic Act 9147 otherwise known as the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act will be charged against the missionaries. (Arianne Caryl N. Casas)