₱200,000 reward offered for tip on people who dumped pigs in Marikina River

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 18) – Marikina Mayor Marcy Teodoro is offering a P200,000 bounty for information on the whereabouts of those who dumped pig carcasses in the city's major waterway.

Teodoro said that the money will come from his own pocket.

As of Tuesday, September 18, local authorities have found 58 dead pigs in Marikina River, fueling suspicions that African Swine Fever was spreading. Teodoro has also ordered a ban on all water-related activities while the Marikina River is being checked for possible contamination. The quarantine checkpoints were also reactivated to prevent diseased hogs from being brought into the city.

Marikina officials are following the leads of the Department of Agriculture (DA). The DA said that the pigs disposed into the river may have been the ones which swine producers "hid" while officials began culling hogs affected by the deadly African Swine Fever.

Hogs within a kilometer radius of areas with positive ASF cases should have been killed and buried to prevent the virus from spreading, authorities said. The area has to be disinfected, too, they added.

The mayor also said that Marikina will file a writ of kalikasan petition before a Marikina Regional Trial Court.

A writ of kalikasan is a legal remedy in a bid to protect one's constitutional right to a safe environment.

He earlier said Marikina will file charges against those who dumped the pig carcasses that turned up in the water bodies of the city to prevent a repeat of this type of events.

"We will file for damages sa epektong nangyari sa amin sa di pagkakagamit ng ilog namin nang maraming araw (over the effects of not being able to use our river for days now)," the Marikina Mayor Marcy Teodoro told CNN Philippines.

"Kailangan dapat may managot. Para hindi na maulit," Teodoro said.

[Translation: There must be accountability. So nothing is overlooked.]

Improper disposal of pollutants in bodies of water is illegal under the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 or Republic Act No. 9275, he noted.

The DA confirmed in early September that ASF has reached Cupang, Antipolo City, five villages in Rodriguez, Rizal and Guiguinto, Bulacan, citing results of confirmatory tests done in the United Kingdom on samples from 20 infected pigs.

Despite DA officials' pronouncements that swine virus in Rodriguez, Rizal is under control, more hog deaths were reported in a backyard farm in the Rizal town.

Since last week, dozens of pigs have also turned up in waterways of Quezon City and Bulacan near ASF-hit Guiguinto town in Bulacan.

The whole of Luzon is under close monitoring as authorities try to contain an outbreak of the ASF in the country, the Bureau of Animal Industry said last week.

ASF only affects pigs, but humans can be carriers of the virus. A virus quickly spreads in an affected hog, which could lead to death after three to five days.