CEBU CITY, Philippines – Philippine Coast Guard Substation personnel in Tubigon, Bohol and the Philippine National Police have arrested an elderly person for possession of materials used in making homemade dynamites.
Lemuel Batuasa, a resident of Mocaboc Island in the town of Tubigon, was arrested as he was about to collect his social pension during the distribution of social pensions in the town of Tubigon on Thursday 7 July.
In a social media post, the Coast Guard District Central Visayas said Batuasa had long been suspected and monitored by local police for possessing homemade dynamite-making equipment. These accessories were found in plain sight at his home.
Among those seized by law enforcement were 72 pieces of clear plastic cellophane each containing one kilo of ammonium nitrate, a piece of homemade dynamite, two black plastic storage boxes, a unit scale, a transparent plastic piece, a package of 38 improvised cartridges. time delay fuse with detonator on both ends, three packets of improvised time delay fuses with detonators on both ends containing 50 pieces each, one bag of ammonium nitrate huchemsfine chemical corp made in Korea and six pieces of empty bags of ammonium nitrate.
These materials, the Coast Guard said, were turned over to the Bohol Provincial Explosive Canine Unit and were forwarded to the Bohol Provincial Forensic Unit for laboratory examination and proper disposal.
Illegal fishing is punishable by Republic law. No. 10654 or An Act to Prevent, Deter, and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing, amending Republic Act No. 8550, known as the “Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998” and d other purposes.
The national government banned the import of solid ammonium nitrate in 2002, but according to Oceana, “leaks” and illegal sales are common.
Oceana, an international advocacy organization focused solely on ocean conservation, is urging the National Police, the Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority and the Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs and Local Government (DILG) to strengthen the laws governing access to this substance.
Despite the fact that dynamite fishing in the Philippines has declined since its peak in the 1980s and 1990s, Oceana said, the country’s fisheries bureau estimates that 10,000 incidents still occur every day.
Illegal fishing flattens reefs and kills any animal within the blast radius, including rare whales and dolphins, Oceana added.
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