Loren condemns killing of PH eagle ‘Pamana’August 21, 2015
Philippine eagles are critically endangered animals and it is unlawful for anyone to take the life of endangered species.
Senator Loren Legarda stressed this point as she condemned the recent killing of a Philippine eagle named “Pamana” that was found dead in Mount Hamiguitan Range, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Davao Oriental.
Pamana was found dead on August 16 with a gunshot wound in the chest. The Philippine eagle is considered as one of the biggest, rarest and most powerful birds in the world. It is also the Philippines’ national bird.
According to the Philippine Eagle Foundation, the Philippine eagle is critically endangered and it is estimated that there are no more than 400 pairs left in the wild. The female Philippine eagle lays only one egg every other year.
Legarda cited Republic Act 9147, or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, which imposes six to twelve years imprisonment and heavy fines for hunting and killing species listed as critical such as the Philippine eagle.
“The Philippine eagle is a symbolic creature in our country and is part of our heritage, our pamana. It is endemic to the Philippines. It is ironic that the bird whose name symbolizes our unique heritage was the one killed,” she said.
“In this light, I urge all government agencies concerned and the citizens in the area to work together to seriously address the killing of Pamana by conducting an immediate investigation not only to give justice to Pamana but also to highlight the need to preserve our heritage,” said Legarda.
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has already sought a probe into the killing of Pamana at the protected area in Davao Oriental barely two months after it was released into the forest.
Santiago, sponsor of the treaty on the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity at the Senate, deplored the risks being faced by endangered Philippine species in protected areas.
“There is a disconnect between the fact that Pamana was killed in Mount Hamiguitan, and the fact that the mountain range is a protected site. If we cannot protect wildlife in what we dare call protected areas, what kind of protection are we providing?” Santiago said.
She noted that the Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary in Davao Oriental was declared a World Heritage Site in June 2014, with the UNESCO citing the area as an important habitat for the critically endangered Philippine eagle.