MANILA - Nine of the eleven arrested Chinese poachers off the Hasa-hasa Shoal (Half Moon Shoal) in the West Philippine Sea were charged before a Palawan court on Monday for violation of the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed the information for violation of Section 87 (Poaching in Philippine Waters) and Section 97 (Fishing or Taking of Rare, Threatened or Endangered Species) of the Code.
Two of the arrested poachers, both of whom are minors, were turned over to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to undergo repatriation proceedings.
The charges against them were dismissed by the DOJ.
Palawan Provincial Prosecutor Allen Roz Rodriguez said the nine poachers charged in court were given a public lawyer to represent them during the inquest proceedings.
The poachers, however, refused the assistance of the lawyer, insisting that they were fishing in Chinese waters, Rodriguez said.
The DOJ recommended a P30,000 bail for each accused for violation of Section 87, and P40,000 each for violation of Section 97.