A Regional Trial Court judge in Negros Oriental has ordered that a hold-departure order be issued by the Bureau of Immigration against the Russian national charged for the death of an endangered green sea turtle in Dauin town.
Insp. Bernabe Rubio, police chief of Dauin, said Friday that Judge Neciforo Enot of the RTC Branch 44 had issued the release order for Anton Likharev, 35, single, of Vladivostok, Russia, after he posted P40,000 in bail late Thursday.
The release order included a hold order to prevent Likharev from leaving the country while the case is pending, Rubio said.
He added that a copy of the court order will be furnished to the BI so it can issue a hold departure order against the Russian national.
Rubio said Likharev was informed of the hold order and was released from detention late Thursday, in the presence of his Filipino girlfriend.
Likharev promised to remain at his rented apartment in Masaplod Sur, Dauin, Rubio said.
The Russian national was charged for violation of Section 102 of Republic Act 10654, or the Amended Fisheries Code, for the death of a green sea turtle last year.
Police arrested him after a Bantay Dagat (fish warden) intercepted Likharev getting out of the water with what later turned out to be a green sea turtle that had a spear embedded in its head, that caused its untimely death.
Likharev told police investigators he did not see the turtle resting among the corals while he was targeting some fish with a spear gun inside the marine sanctuary in Masaplod Sur.
Police are investigating how Likharev managed to slip the spear gun in unnoticed as it is unlawful to use it inside a protected marine sanctuary, Rubio said.
Environmentalists and netizens who saw the pictures of the dead sea turtle have cried foul over its demise and are seeking justice for its death.
Danny Ocampo, a staunch environmentalist who works for a non-government organization as an oceans campaign director, expressed disgust, and said “what this person did was deplorable, considering that he did it in an area known both for tourism and marine conservation”.
“The worse part of it is that he killed an endangered species in an area visited by a lot of tourists to see living sea turtles. He should be held accountable for violating several of our laws,” Ocampo added.*JFP/PNA
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