The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), together with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), is set to file a case against a seafood restaurant in Pasay City for allegedly serving exotic food in violation of Republic Act No. 9147, also known as the Philippine Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.

In a report to DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje, DENR-National Capital Region (NCR) Executive Director Nilo Tamoria said the case being prepared against Hingyak Delicious Seafood Restaurant stemmed from the confiscation of some 4.25 kilos of wildlife derivatives, including snake skin, snake meat and chopped meat from soft-shelled turtles, in a raid conducted last January 30, 2012 by joint operatives of the DENR-NCR, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), wildlife enforcement officers of Pasay City government, and staff of TV5’s investigative program, Bitag.

Tamoria said the raid was conducted in response to a request from Bitag, which has been receiving reports from the public that the establishment was allegedly offering and serving exotic food.

He also said all confiscated derivatives have been turned over to the Wildlife Rescue Center of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) for safekeeping.

DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje said the joint move of DENR and NBI is meant to send a strong signal that the government is dead serious in its campaign to protect the country’s wildlife resources to maintain a balanced ecosystem.

“The reason why we have laws is put order in our society. Our wildlife law is passed to protect our wildlife resources as they play an important role in sustaining a balanced ecology,” Paje said.

He also stressed that the collection, hunting or possessing of wildlife, their by-products and derivatives without proper permit are considered illegal acts punishable under the Wildlife Act.