DAVAO CITY -- Authorities on Monday confiscated 447 exotic birds and animals worth PHP50 million in Barangay Dahican, Mati City, Davao Oriental.
Among the seized species are black palm cockatoos, wallabies, and echidna that were believed to be smuggled from Indonesia, said Col. Marcial Magistrado, director of the Davao Oriental Police Provincial Office.
Monday's operation led to the arrest of the two caretakers, identified as Jomar Lumakore Toledo, 34, and Rompas Manindig Lumakore, 25, both residents of Barangay Calumpang, General Santos City.
Magistrado said the police will be filing charges against the arrested persons for violation of Republic Act 9147 or Conservation and Protection of Wildlife Resources and their Habitats.
Magistrado said the two suspects were reportedly being paid to feed the animals, which were already in the area for a week.
Each bird species and animals were identified and tagged by the team from the Biodiversity Management Bureau and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Region 11, led by Dr. Rogelio Demelletes.
The species were identified according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) category.
CITES is an international agreement between governments and aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
It was conceived to regulate the trade of wildlife animals and plants across borders and safeguard certain species from over-exploitation. (PNA)