MANILA, Philippines - A physics major from the University of the Philippines was fined P2,000 and sentenced to 2 months' volunteer work for killing a cat inside the state university and then bragging about it on his blog. The case is the first successful conviction of a person accused of animal cruelty in the Philippines.
Joseph Carlo Candare was in his sophomore year in the UP National Institute of Physics in 2009 when he wrote about killing a cat named Teteng in his Multiply blog "My Perfect Symmetry."
In the blog entry dated April 13, 2009, Candare said he jumped on the cat, hitting the animal squarely on the torso. Another student later said that the cat coughed up blood and died.
"This isn't the first time I've killed a cat but this time it's different. It didn't occur to me back then that the cat had a leash. So I think somebody owns it," he said in his blog entry "I killed Schrodinger's Cat-Isang Araw na Puno ng Epick Phail."
"So there you go I'm sorry. And I wont be striking another one for maybe about a month. It feels good when your beating it (a cat) up but you suddenly feel something strange when it turns off permanently. That's how I feel right now. And maybe for the next days. Dang, am I a cat serial killer?" he added.
Candare's blog drew widespread condemnation from animal lovers in the country and abroad. A website "Justice for Teteng" was put up while critics put up wanted posters for Candare.
Candare deleted his blog but its contents could still be seen in the cache of search portal Google.
Several people who witnessed the killing of the cat testified against Candare after he was slapped with violating Republic Act 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act.
During the arraignment, Candare pled innocent to charges of animal cruelty. However, a Quezon City judge found Candare guilty based on the weight of the evidence and his own admission in the blog.
He was slapped with a P2,000 fine and sentenced to do 2 months of volunteer work for the Philippine Animal Welfare Society.
First conviction for animal cruelty
Candare is the first person to be convicted of animal cruelty in the Philippines. Atty. Roy Kayaban Jr., PAWS spokesman, said the Candare case should serve as a lesson to deter Filipinos from being cruel to animals.
Candare's father, meanwhile, asked media to spare his son. He said the entire family suffered depression and even Joseph Carlo was subjected to threats and failed several subjects after the ordeal.
Several staff members of the UP Institute of Physics said cats are commonly seen inside their old building, and would sometimes defecate there. Report by Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News; Editing by David Dizon, abs-cbnNEWS.com