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Asia Dive News : Divers arrested for diving in Philippine protected sanctuary

Two German nationals and their Filipino guide were arrested last week and later fined for scuba-diving inside a marine sanctuary off the coast of Brgy. Lipayo, Dauin, Oriental Negros.

Arrested were Breiten Huber Michael, 39, Tetzlaff Norbert, 45, and Filipino guide Ronald Tan.

They were, however, released a few hours after they paid the fine.

Their arrest came after Mayor Rodrigo Alanano ordered the Dauin police through a telephone call to confirm reports that, a group of foreigners had been seen scuba-diving within the marine sanctuary.

Responding policemen SPO1 George Alampay, PO2 Jose Futalan, and PO2 Edsil Enopia confirmed this when they found the three men swimming within the sanctuary and arrested them.

Alanano has been vocal in his position against violations of municipal ordinances, particularly those related to his program to sustain the coastal resource management gains of the municipality.

In a presentation before a two-day regional workshop on integrated population, health, and environment communication at Bethel Guest House Wednesday and Thursday, Alanano said he will spare no one, not even foreigners and relatives, if they are found guilty of violating municipal ordinances.

He told the gathering of journalists and information officers in the PATH Foundation Philippines, Inc.-sponsored workshop that he has to be strict in enforcing the laws, particularly in the operation of the 12 resorts and dive sites in the nine coastal barangays of the municipality.

His purpose, Alanano stressed, is to protect the people's morals and the coastal marine resources for the sake of the future generation.

Source: Visayan Daily Star