General Santos City

Pig’s blood coating on fish sparks outrage in General Santos

Rommel Rebollido

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Pig’s blood coating on fish sparks outrage in General Santos

FISH WORK. A laborer carries tuna from a fishing vessel at the General Santos City Fish Port Complex.

Rommel Rebollido/Rappler

Market inspectors say the deceitful method is employed to make fish slices appear fresh

GENERAL SANTOS, Philippines – A group of inspectors uncovered a deceiful practice on Monday, May 15, in which several market vendors were found coating fish slices with pig’s blood to make them look fresh.

The discovery immediately sparked controversy among Muslims and other non-pork eaters in General Santos City.

Acting on information from the General Santos City Market Vendors’ Association (GSCMVA), the market inspection team caught several vendors in the act of selling fish slices with thin coating of pig’s blood at General Santos City’s Central Public Market.

Plastic packs of pig blood were seized from the vendors involved.

According to the inspectors, this method was employed to make fish slices appear fresh.

The team’s leader, Mudin Puyat, said they closed at least six stalls at the public market as a result of their discovery.

The closed stalls were all located in the fish section of the market and will remain closed pending further investigation.

City hall officials described the situation as a “public health issue” and indicated that it would be addressed by a market committee.

Vendors found to be in violation face the potential consequences of losing their stall lease contracts with city hall.

City administrator Shandee Theresa Llido-Pestaño ordered market personnel to closely monitor the activities of vendors, ensuring compliance with fair business practices, sanitation, and safety regulations.

Muslims and other non-pork eaters in the city expressed their outrage upon learning of the malpractice.

“It is a blatant disrespect and injustice towards us, Muslims, and other religious groups that prohibit eating pork, especially pig’s blood. It is haram,” said Ustadz Alnor Baghdad Mohammad Tan, an alim from General Santos’ Mohammad Mosque.

“Fish is supposed to be halal, but their actions deceived people,” Tan said.

Arnold Cantero, a member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) which forbids consuming blood, called for authorities to hold the offending vendors accountable.

“What they did was an act of disrespect. May God forgive them,” said Cantero.

A masjid worker named Akmad urged city hall not to handle the offending vendors lightly, adding that he felt that even the revocation of their business permits was insufficient.

“They have deceived many people, particularly Muslims who consider eating pork sinful,” he said.

Many netizens expressed anger over the incident and demanded that authorities take necessary measures to address the misconduct occurring within the market, including cheating on weighing scales.

Netizen Rohida Gumaga said, “We had no idea we were being deceived by these individuals. They must be punished. They tricked us into buying food for our families with our hard-earned money.”

Norlainee Mamalumpong added, “Now that they have been caught, they must not be allowed to conduct business again. They have deceived us for so many years.”

A market worker, who requested anonymity for security reasons, revealed that such practices have been ongoing since 2013 or even earlier.

According to the worker, some vendors dip the fish in blood, just enough to give it a fresh and shiny appearance.

“They have hidden plastic bags of pig’s blood. You can have it tested. It’s genuine pig’s blood,” the worker disclosed. –

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