Senator Leila M. de Lima has expressed alarm over the supposed smuggling of lifeless dogs that recently gained the attention of several social media users.
De Lima, an animal lover who owns dogs of different breeds and sizes and has stray cats inside her detention quarters, voiced out her concern after photos of 72 lifeless dogs kept inside a pick-up truck surfaced online.
"The transport of carcasses of 72 dogs is very alarming and I hope authorities will take this issue seriously by tracking the people behind the obviously illegal dog meat trade," she said.
In his Facebook account, Cavite Mayor Emmanuel Maliksi confirmed the alleged "illegal dog meat trade," saying that police authorities found 72 slaughtered dogs inside a pick-up truck last Aug. 17.
The said pickup truck reportedly figured in a vehicular accident at Daang Hari corner Aguinaldo Hi-way, but Maliksi is yet to confirm if the truck driver was arrested.
De Lima denounced any forms of cruelty inflicted upon pets, saying that hurting animals is no different from hurting humans.
"Like us humans, every animal has the right to just treatment, and should never be abused or neglected. What makes pet different from us is they are helpless and voiceless. They cannot fight back against any forms of maltreatments and abuses inflicted upon them," she said.
As such, De Lima said it is every person's duty to ensure that these defenseless animals are protected and properly taken care of.
The neophyte Senator also pointed out that neglect to treat animals with respect and proper care has the appropriate legal consequences under the law.
Note that under Section 9 of Republic Act (RA) 8485, as amended by RA 10631, or The Animal Welfare Act, any person who subjects any animal to cruelty, maltreatment or neglect shall, upon conviction by final judgment, be punished by imprisonment and/or fine.
Seemingly referring to the state-led extrajudicial killings in the Philippines that claimed thousands of innocent lives, Facebook user Maan D'asis Pamaran lamented the controversial deaths of both animals and humans in the country.
"Slaughtered people, slaughtered dogs. [A] no na ang [nangyayari sa] bayan nating mahal?" she said.
Since Duterte, who promotes killings as crime prevention, started his all-out war on illegal drugs in July last year, more than 12,000 people have already been killed - both from legitimate police operations and vigilante-style executions.
As one of the most vocal critics of the administration, De Lima is detained on obviously fabricated drug charges to silence her from her vocal opposition to the President's murderous war on drugs.
Source: Senate of the Philippines