The proprietor of world’s biggest python in captivity in Albur could have been jailed for three days had he not prepared an amount to bail himself out from an arrest warrant issued by a court due to a criminal case filed against him.
Eugene Salibay, caretaker of “Prony”, the world’s biggest python in captivity, faced an arrest warrant issued by Judge Dionisio Calibo of Branch 49 in Loay last Saturday. However, Salibay voluntarily surrendered to Albur police station to avoid humiliation of being handcuffed as he posted P24,000 before the issuing court to bail him out temporarily.
In an interview by the Chronicle yesterday, Salibay said that he already sensed that an arrest warrant will be issued against him for cutting a tree, locally known as “tugas”, which is prohibited by law to be cut.
According to Salibay, the tree that he cut was already dead and it posted danger to the vehicles being parked outside his residence as it might fall anytime. He then decided to cut it as the parking area outside his residence became congested due to booming tourist arrivals to see the famous python.
Salibay added that the warrant of arrest issued against him was caused by political persecution from town Mayor Efren Tungol. In fact, no less than the Barangay Captain of Sta. Fe, where the python is located, who persistently urged the local DENR to file the case against Salibay.
“Our Barangay Captain, Elias Jipos, is an ally to the mayor and they are doing everything to pin me down”, Salibay said.
It can be recalled that Tungol issued a closure order for the famous python during the last quarter of 2011. Since then, police officers were posted near the highway to warn tourists not to view the python as the owner is not paying taxes to the municipality.
When interviewed by the Chronicle, Tungol said that by cutting that tree, Salibay violated section 69 of Presidential Decree No 705 as amended by Executive Order 277. He added that the arrest warrant versus Salibay was due to the Criminal Case No 1717 that the later is facing.
Tungol explained that since “tugas” is protected by a Presidential Decree, cutting of such trees require permits from the Office of the President.
For his part, Salibay hit the mayor for doing everything to humiliate him. However, he said that he is always ready to face any kind of persecution from the mayor.
To avoid further rift between Tungol, Salibay decided to transfer the snake to Barangay Laya Baclayon. In fact, a construction of the site has already been started.
“It would be best for Prony to be put in Baclayon as the municipal employees there are friendlier compared to Albur”, Salibay concluded.
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