NBI 7 arrests man for trading endangered birds on social media

A MAN allegedly trading and transporting an endangered bird species through Facebook was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation-Central Visayas (NBI 7) in an entrapment on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022.

The NBI 7 Mandaue officials, led by agent-in-charge Arnel Pura and senior agent Niño Rodriguez, identified the suspect during a press conference on Thursday, Oct. 27 as Manolito Montemayor.

Rodriguez said the NBI 7 had received information that Montemayor was posting pictures on Facebook advertising that he was selling Palawan Hill Myna birds under the name “Dodongni Dong.”

The suspect was reportedly selling the birds, which are protected wildlife and classified as endangered species, up to P12,500 per head via online messaging transaction.

Acting on the information, the NBI 7 transacted with Montemayor who eventually agreed to sell one Myna bird for P10,000 and scheduled a meet-up in a shopping mall in Balamban on Oct. 21.

During the meet-up, the suspect brought two Myna birds, saying the other bird was for another customer who backed out and tried selling them to the NBI 7 agent posing as a customer.

Montemayor also revealed that he had six more Myna birds with him that he will also sell to other customers.

After the NBI agent pursuaded him, Montemayor agreed to sell all eight birds at a discounted price of P7,000 each and scheduled another meet-up on Oct. 26 in his residence in Toledo City, where he was eventually arrested.

Rodriguez said the suspect failed to present any permit or authority to collect, transport, or trade wildlife species, which was later verified by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office in Cebu City.

Rodriguez said they found that Montemayor neither holds a Certificate of Wildlife Registration, Wildlife Farm Permit and Local Transport Permit from the DENR.

Pura said this was the first case of illegal wildlife selling they handled this year.

The NBI vowed to be more vigilant in monitoring these cases in order to protect endangered animals from being exploited.

On Thursday, Oct. 27, NBI personnel filed charges against Montemayor for violating Section 27 of Republic Act (RA) 9147, or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, in relation to RA 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. He was released after posting P39,000 in bail right after his arrest.

Pura said the Myna birds confiscated will be returned to their natural habitat in Palawan.