The reported mass poisoning of stray dogs that went viral over social media and saw print in a local paper has triggered denials from a local government unit and the management of a high end hotel who felt alluded to by the news report.Â
Still reeling from an environmental report portraying it’s coastal waters as among the dirtiest in Central Visayas, a position paper signed by Panglao Mayor Leonila Montero and Vice Mayor Pedro Fuertes “vehemently denying and criticizing the irresponsible publication in the newspaper about the alleged mass dog poisoning perpetrated in the municipality of Panglao as a preparation for the staging of the 2015 Triathlon in the Province of Bohol”.
The LGU Panglao position paper condemned the report by the “irresponsible local newspaper” and “vehemently denouncing irresponsible journalism and news papering” that has placed the tourism industry and the newly promoted sports tourism in a bad light.
“Assuming without conceding”, the letter continued that there was a planned mass dog poisoning in preparation for a triathlon event on November 2015, “yet, it is still premature to do such for the reason that there would still be many events that would happened along the way to November”.
Bellevue Resort Bohol General Manager Rommel Gonzales also denied having a hand in the reported “mass poisoning of stray dogs” after being felt alluded to by the “misleading” reports from a local paper.
The Municipal Agriculture Office on June 22, 2015 issued a certification that the office “has not conducted any poisoning of stray dogs in all barangays in the municipality”.
The certification signed by Carmelita Arboleras, Municipal Agriculture Officer further stated that “we have conducted only spray and neuter at Brgy. Tawala last Friday, June 19, 2015. The next schedule is not yet set”.
Also, Acting Doljo Barangay Captain Jorge Millanes issued a certification Â on June 25, 2015 that since his assumption of office “no any poisoning of stray dogs has been conducted in the barangay”.
Officials of Panglao led by Montero, Fuertes, Municipal Administrator Noel Hormachuelos and Panglao Police Chief Police Senior Inspector Joemar Pomarejos together with Gonzales faced the Bohol Tri Media Association during a press conference at the Bellevue Resort on June 29, 2015.
“Although we were not mentioned, we would correct the impression that our establishment is behind the reported mass poisoning of stray dogs because of the triathlon”, Gonzales said.
A banner story of the local paper on June 28, 2015 “Dog poisoning sparks triathlon boycott plan” set off stunned reactions from the LGU of Panglao and Bellevue after only two dogs were mentioned in the news article as “one of the victims of the mass dog killing allegedly perpetrated by personnel/staff of a business establishment”
Questions on what constitutes “mass poisoning” surfaced during the press conference as only two dogs were reported victims of the alleged mass poisoning.
Gonzales explained to the media that “we are not condoning the poisoning of stray dogs just for the triathlon which we have supported to be held in Panglao”.
Emma Gomez, owner of Ananyana Beach Resort, located nearby Bellevue told DYRD “Inyong Alagad” that business rivalry as insinuated by Montero is far fetched since her resort benefits from the triathlon events in Panglao.
Gomez whose pet dog Cookie was the main subject of the news report said that “when I saw the dog vomiting and had seizures I brought her to the veterinarian, Dr. Singco but was dead on arrival. Singco told me she died due to poisoning”.
“As to the other dogs reportedly killed by poisoning, several residents told me about the fate of their dogs. I reported this incidents to the Barangay and municipal officials and Kagawad Fudolig”.
Section 6 of RA 8485 known as “The Animal Welfare Act of 1998” states that the killing of any animal other than cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, poultry, rabbits, carabao, horse, deer and crocodiles is declared unlawful.
It further states that exceptions among others in the following instances when it is done to prevent an imminent danger to the life and limb of a human being, for the purpose of animal population control and other grounds as determined by a certified licensed veterinarian.
Penalties imposed upon final judgement is imprisonment of six months nor more than two years or a fine of not less than P1,000 nor more than P5,000 or both upon the discretion of the courts.Â (CMV)