Tubigon village chief, wife charged over transporting pork products

By Marisol Bo-oc | 11:04 PM August 11, 2023

The provincial government of Bohol on Friday (Aug. 11) filed a criminal case against a village chief and his wife for illegally transporting pork products from Cebu to Bohol.

The Provincial Information Media Office (Pimo) said the case was filed by Provincial Legal Officer Atty. Handel Lagunay and Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Stella Marie Lapiz at the Municipal Circuit Trial Court in Tubigon town.

Two boxes aboard M/V Lite Ferry 23 were confiscated after a thorough inspection by the veterinary quarantine inspectors of the African Swine Flu (ASF) Task Force at the port of Tubigon last June 13, 2023.

Ma. Sol Balbin was the shipper/consignee of vegetable cargoes which included the two undeclared boxes of assorted pork products.

During the said inspection, Brgy. Capt. Balbin, who was present, personally requested the ASF Task Force members to just have the undeclared prohibited pork products returned to its port of origin in Mandaue City, Cebu..

The ASF Task Force Members, however, insisted for its confiscation to prevent contamination in accordance with Section 5(a) of Provincial Ordinance No. 2022-011.

They also refused to sign the Notice of Violation and pay the penalty of P1, 000.

Lagunay and Lapiz said the couple had violated Provincial Ordinance No. 2022-11 on preventive measures against the African Swine Fever (ASF) virus entry.

Gov. Aris Aumentado has consistently emphasized compliance with ASF prevention, expressed disappointment at the involvement of barangay officials, and urged strong legal action to deter such violations.

On the other hand, Executive Order No. 41 is still effective in the implementation of mitigating measures from the 100-meter to 7-km radius of the Index/Infected Premise (IP) through monitoring, disinfecting, and surveillance.

This is also accompanied by Memorandum Order No. 2023-0074 for Bohol mayors urging them to strengthen vigilance against ASF entry, especially in the coastal areas, and mobilizing their respective ASF Inter-Agency Task Force.

The ASF has reached Bohol soil that
at least 87 pigs in San Vicente in Pilar town died and killed to prevent the spread of ASF virus.

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