Divers on Wednesday found a pawikan (sea turtle) dead at the Sampaguita Reef in Barangay Basdiot, Moalboal, Cebu, apparently succumbing to wounds on its face and neck.
Renato Vidal was manning a pump boat full of divers when a floating hawksbill sea turtle caught their attention. When they approached, they found out that the turtle was already dead.
They suspect the turtle was a victim of spear fishing.
Moalboal police have yet to determine if the turtle was wounded on its own or was intentionally harmed.
Under Republic Act 9147, harming and killing endangered animals, including the pawikan, is punishable by law.
Moalboal Police chief Senior Insp. Jose Rovic Villarin said they are still investigating the matter.
Marine life advocates in Moalboal are now calling on the public to stop harming marine life, especially the pawikan.
Beth Balane, a dive guide, said marine life is also for the next generation to see.
The dead turtle was turned over to the Provincial Environmental Office for further investigation.
The town of Moalboal is a dive spot in Cebu province known for its rich marine life.