Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Complaint vs Subic Ocean Park withdrawn

CA affirms DOJ order withdrawing complaint vs Subic Ocean Park
The Court of Appeals has affirmed an order of the Department of Justice withdrawing the criminal complaints filed against the executives of a company that operates a marine animal park in Subic Bay for violation of the Animal Welfare Act.

In its 16-page decision penned by Associate Justice Josefina Guevara-Salonga, the appellate court’s Ninth Division affirmed the DOJ’s November 6, 2007 resolution to withdraw the criminal complaints filed against executives of the Subic Bay Marine Exploratorium (SBME), the operators of the Ocean Adventure Park.

The Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 32 had earlier dismissed the criminal cases against the SBME after the withdrawal of the criminal complaints it had filed before the court.

Records show that on November 9, 2001, Maria Teresita Hontiveros-Lichauco, president of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society, Inc. (PAWS) and Maria Theresa Concepcion of the Earth Island Institute (EII) filed a criminal complaint for violation of Republic Act No. 8485 or the “Animal Welfare Act” against SBME officials Timothy Desmond, John Corcoran and Gail Laule the chairman, president and vice-president, respectively, of the marine park located at Camayan Wharf, West Ilanin Forest Area, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Zambales.

The park features dolphins, sea lions and false killer whales and a marine aquarium.

In their complaint, Lichauco and Concepcion alleged that the respondents transported several false killer whales and several sea lions to a structure constructed for the confinement of the animals in Subic Bay. In that structure, the animals are trained for various circus shows.

In their complaint, PAWS and EII said the SBME executives had violated Section 2 of RA 8485 which provides that no person, association shall put up and maintain a pet shop, kennel, veterinary clinic or zoo without first securing from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) a certificate of registration." By Mike Frialde - PhilStar

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