17 October 2012
At a hearing today, Judge Evangeline Castillo-Marigomen denied the extension of the Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO) barring the re-export of 25 dolphins owned by Resorts World currently at the Ocean Adventure Park in Subic.
Despite overwhelming scientific evidence presented by the petitioners, the order signed by Judge Marigomen reads: “The Court is constrained to deny the application for a TEPO to enjoin the public respondents from issuing the exportation permit of dolphins, as the petitioners have not proved any violation of law committed by the concerned government agencies.”
Petitioners Trixie Concepcion of Earth Island Institute (EII) and Anna Cabrera of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) were also shocked and aghast when the Judge likened dolphins to ‘pets’. The Judge also asked Petitioners if they have been to SeaWorld as that facility takes care of its animals.
SeaWorld was at the center of controversy recently when one of its animals drowned a trainer bringing to three people killed by animals at that facility.
‘It is a sad day for dolphins today”, says Concepcion, ‘It is tantamount to saying that it is alright to capture, train and use wild dolphins for dolphin shows even if this will threaten their survival in the wild.’
Petitioners are expected to file a motion for reconsideration soon. Likewise petitioners are thinking of filing a motion for a voluntary inhibition of Judge Marigomen for her open remarks in court comparing dolphins to pets as well as the SeaWorld Park in the US.#####