Four men who sailed to Bohol to buy fish from residents in an island barangay in Talibon were caught as they illegally entered the province amid travel restrictions set by the government to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID) 2019.
Police Master Sgt. Luis Gabisan of the Talibon Police Station said that the four individuals on board three pumpboats were spotted by residents as they docked in the island of Calituban in Talibon at past 10 a.m. on Friday last week.
Police immediately responded to reports from concerned citizens and accosted the fish buyers who were identified as Dionisio Gomez, 47, Gregorio Delos Reyes, 65 and Oscar Luceno, 41, all residents if Consolacion, Cebu and Rolando Dinoy, 41, of Mandaue City.
“Dunay mi-report namo na dunay pumpboat na dili pareho’g porma ining mga kasagaran na pumpboat diri sa Bohol, lahi ang porma. Dali ra pud mi nako responde kay naa may speedboat namo,” he said, adding that they reached the island before the fish buyers could interact with residents in Calituban.
According to Gabisan, the four individuals have been held at a quarantine facility in the town since they were caught in Calituban and they will remain there for 14 days and until they post bail.
Their quarantine at the Alejandro Gurrea Elementary School in mainland Talibon is being supervised by local health authorities while police are making sure that they do not go out of the facility.
Gabisan noted that fish buyers from Cebu still frequent island barangays in Bohol even while travel restrictions were imposed prompting police to boost their monitoring operations in island villages.
“Mao gipanid-an g’yud ni sila og maayo para mahunong ni ilang kalaki,” he said.“In the midst aning pandemic nato ron, balik-balik gihapon na sila karon ra nasakpi ni.”
Seaborne patrols by the police and Philippine Coast Guard to enforce quarantine protocols have deterred some fish buyers to enter Bohol waters but others still try to evade detection and conduct their business in the province, he added. (with C. Remolador)