MANILA, Philippines – Marikina is considering filing criminal and civil charges against the persons who dumped pig carcasses into the Marikina River.
City authorities have retrieved from different areas along the the Marikina River almost 60 hog remains since last week.
The spike in the number of pig carcasses floating down the Marikina River has drawn attention with the recent outbreak of African swine fever in the several towns in Rizal province, upriver of Marikina.
The ASF virus is not considered a human threat. However, it is fatal to swines who contract the virus.
Marikina Mayor Marcelino “Marcy” Teodoro said: “They are both civilly liable and criminally accountable. It can be considered as illegal dumping of pollutant ‘yun, eh,”
He added: “Magpa-file kami ng civil case para maka-claim ng damages for the man hour, equipment, manpower na consume ng city sa pagcle-clear at paglilibing ng mga baboy na 'yan.”
(We will file civil cases to claim damages for man hours, equipment, manpower used by the city in clearing and burying the dead hogs.)
The Marikina mayor said those who were responsible for dumping the pig carcasses face cases of violation of clean water act, and sanitation law.
Teodoro said, according to the laws, "anything which alters the water’s condition, that is considered pollution.”
As of Monday, September 16, the Marikina mayor said they were pursuing leads provided by the Department of Agriculture (DA) to determiine the source of 58 pig carcasses recovered from the Marikina River.
All the dead swines pulled out of the river where immediately buried, as provided by the DA.
Teodoro said that the DA, through the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), sent a team to Montalban, Rizal to look for the source of the dead pigs retrieved in the river.
“We already sent a team to Montalban . This is coordinated sa Office of the Provincial Veterinarian of Rizal and DA Region IV-A plus BAI to investigate the dumping of dead pigs,” said Noverlee Calub of the BAI.
The mayor said people are advised not to fish or swim in the Marikina River. He said the city was still waiting for the results of the test which would determine the condition of the water. “The local government wants to ensure that the water in the Marikina River is not contaminated.”
Also, Teodoro said that the local government of Marikina is continuously monitoring and inspecting the pork products in the city to ensure that all meats are safe to eat.
The mayor said the death of the pigs is not the fault of the owner, but he/she should still be held accountable for improperly disposing the pig carcasses.
Earlier, the mayor said there were no piggeries nor slaughterhouses in Marikina City. – Rappler.com