DAVAO CITY — Two brothers are now facing charges after allegedly shooting and wounding a critically endangered Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) in Barangay Tambobong, Baguio District, Davao City last Sunday, February 21.
The Philippine eagle named Matatag (strong) was released into the wild on December 2014 after undergoing rehabilitation at the Philippine Eagle Center (PEC).
Six months ago, on August 16, another Philippine eagle, named Pamana was found dead in San Isidro, Davao Oriental. The eagle’s scapula was shattered due to a gunshot.
Tiburcio Aparecio and his younger brother, Rolando surrendered to the members of the Baguio Police and said that shooting the Philippine eagle was an accident. The two are facing charges for violation of Administrative Order 235 series of 1970, which prohibits the wounding, taking, selling/ exporting, processing and killing of the Philippine Eagle and Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.
The police are also charging them for violation of the Commission on Elections gun ban as the shooter had used .22-caliber pistol, which was recovered by the police.
The Philippine eagle was hit on his left wing and is now being treated at the PEC.
The eagle was formerly a caged bird turned over in 2011 to the Philippine Eagle Foundation, he was known for being contemptuous and aggressive towards his handlers, a sign that he was meant for the wild.
In late 2014 he was released in the ancestral forests of the Obu Manuvu indigenous people in Barangay Carmen, Davao City. In January this year PEF had monitored that Matatag has been moving away from his birthplace and release site.
According to PEF, roughly 400 pairs of Philippine Eagles are left in the wild. (davaotoday.com)