DAVAO CITY, Aug. 21 (PNA) –- Davao Oriental Governor Corazon Malanyaon has offered a P50,000 reward to those who can provide information leading to the arrest of the killer or killers of Philippine Eagle “Pamana”, who was found dead inside the Mt. Hamiguitan Range on Sunday.
The P50,000 reward money put up by Davao Oriental is on top of the P100,000 earlier offered by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the death of Pamana.
The initial reward money was offered by DENR Secretary Ramon Paje, who called on law enforcement units in Davao Oriental to assist regional environment officials in hunting down the perpetrators. He also asked local residents to help track down the killers.
Meanwhile, the Natural Heritage Office of Davao Oriental is hoping that the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the technical arm of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is not quick to condemn the government for the death of Pamana.
Dolores Valdesco, head of the said office, had voiced concern over the impact of the Philippine Eagle’s death to Mt. Hamiguitan Range as a UNESCO World Heritage Site wishing that the IUCN “would not be quick in condemning us on that single incident”.
Valdesco counted on the province’s long standing capability to protect rare, endemic and endangered species as cited in their nomination dossier and Statement of Outstanding Universal Value.
She noted that as proponent for the inscription of Mt. Hamiguitan with UNESCO “it would be unfair to judge us as incapable of protecting important wildlife species for just one isolated case”.
Valdesco said that as host to Pamana’s new habitat, the incident concerned them most. She added that Governor Corazon Malanyaon already ordered an investigation into the incident.
“We believe we need to dig deeper into what happened,” she said in a press statement.
“Davao Oriental is very much aggrieved for what had happened to Pamana. We really embraced her as one of our own. She was as equally important to us as our local Philippine eagles. She was very much welcomed to our province since her introduction to our area would result to the genetic enhancement of our local eagles when she would find a local mate,” Valdesco said.
According to her, every resident is affected by what happened to Pamana.
While deeper investigation is ongoing, Valdesco vowed to strengthen more the province’s education campaign, community building and networking for protection and conservation, considering that Davao Oriental is identified as one of the provinces which have the most number of Philippine Eagles.
Valdesco said Davao Oriental has three declared Philippine Eagle Sanctuaries in the three component LGUs: one in Mati City, one in Tarragona and one in Manay.
She added that the Mount Hamiguitan Range is home to the famous eagle couple Cabu and Aya and their offspring Cabuaya. She said there are also many sightings of Brahminy kites and identified nesting sites of this eagle.
“We have not heard of any killing of eagles in Mount Hamiguitan Range,” Valdesco said.
Pamana was found dead at the Mt. Hamiguitan mountain range on August 16, five days after a monitor gadget and GPS attached to her body stopped moving.
The eagle was released on June 12 by the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) in Barangay La Union, San Isidro town in Davao Oriental after three years of rehabilitation. Pamana was rescued as an eaglet in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte province with a gunshot wound and was nurtured by PEF for three years.
The PEF reported that based on the necropsy report of Dr. Ana Lascano, a veterinarian at the Philippine Eagle Center in Malagos, Baguio District, a 5mm bullet hole was on the right chest of Pamana. A tiny metal fragment believed to be from a shattered gun pellet was also found. Lascano noted that Pamana could have suffered from “gunshot wound leading to possible trauma”.(PNA)