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Fishermen Demand Compensation After False Accusation of Illegal Fishing

A group of Boholano fishermen from Basac, Loon are seeking restitution after allegedly being falsely accused of dynamite fishing by a maritime police officer.

According to a legal notice dated June 28, 2024, sent to the Philippine National Police Maritime Group, Police Senior Sergeant Celso Flores is accused of falsely claiming that local fishermen were engaged in dynamite fishing on June 17, 2024.

The accusation was made as the fishermen and their wives were in the process of selling their catch.

The Pizzaras law firm representing the fishermen states that as a result of this accusation, nearly 200 kilos of anchovies (bolinao) were spoiled, causing significant financial loss to the fishermen.

The letter claims that subsequent examination of a sample of the fish catch by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) yielded negative results, confirming that no illegal fishing methods were used.

The fishermen’s legal representatives are demanding that PSSG Celso Flores and his commanding officer provide a written explanation within 72 hours and reimburse the value of the spoiled fish.

If these demands are not met, the fishermen threaten to file a formal complaint with the Ombudsman and the Philippine National Police.

As of press time, the Philippine National Police Maritime Group has not publicly responded to these allegations.

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