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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Linis Gobyerno?

Linis Gobyerno is a non-profit, civil society group formally launched and incorporated on May 5, 2000. The group is based inBaguio City, with prime areas of operation within the Cordillera Administrative Region and Region 1 located at the Northern part of the Philippines.

2. What does Linis Gobyerno do?

The group's primary concern is to fight graft and corruption in government by way of research and verification on government transactions and seeing to it that existing civil service rules and other laws on anti graft practices and similar offenses, as penalized by the Revised Penal Code, are put to check and observed by all public officials. Since its incorporation, Linis Gobyerno has filed over 100 complaints (criminal and administrative) in the different judicial and quasi-judicial bodies against top local and national officials to include the City Mayor, Congressman, Regional Directors, Military and Police Officials and others.

3.Why is the illegal dog trade prevalent and flourishing in Baguio City and other parts of the Cordillera Region?

According to research on historical data and interview with tribal elders,  it is a practice of some of the natives of Baguio the Cordilleras to slaughter their pet dog to drive away the bad spirits that bring misfortune. This religious practice was rarely done during the early 1900's up to the present.

However, during the late seventies, some enterprising traders began selling andserving dog meat in local eateries for the simple reason that stray dogs are readily available (almost all homes even in the lower income strata of Philippine society take care of dogs to guard their homes). And once dogs reproduce, we all know the multiplier effect, and just imagine how numerous unscrupulous individuals have developed a system of catching stray dogs and transporting them to where the market is in existence (predominantly in Baguio City and the Cordilleras). It is much easier and profitable for them to catch stray dogs thanto enter into an economic enterprise of raising pigs, chickens etc...
Simply put, it is a matter of economics vis a vis an evolved supply and demand situation brought about by low supply cost. Increasing the cost of dog meat by suppressing the supply through successful apprehension with firm and steadfast prosecution of violators of the Animal Welfare Act, and what you will have is an increased selling price of dog meat, which in the long run translates to a decrease in demand.

4. Are there existing laws against cruelty to animals and the dog trade in the Philippines?

On February 1998, Republic Act 8485 otherwise known as the Animal Welfare Act was enacted into law. The on-going illegal dog trade is a clear violation of certain provisions of the Animal Welfare Act

5. What qualifications does Linis Gobyerno have in putting a stop to the illegal

dog trade? We believe that putting a stop to the illegal dog trade needs a strong political will among concerned Philippine officials and a strong private sector to spearhead the strict implementation of the Animal Welfare Act, which would call for apprehension and serious/steadfast prosecution for violators of the law. Linis Gobyerno has already established a track record of fizcalizing and going against even the top officials of government without fear or favor.

In fact, in June of 2002, an international group known as the International Wildlife Coalition (IWC) tapped the services of Linis Gobyerno and our affiliate, The Junction Newspaper, that resulted  to the raid of two (2) illegal dog slaughterhouses and apprehension of at least 8 violators. After our group violations of RA 8485 in the raids spearheaded by IWC, Linis Gobyerno charged the IWC members including its British Director and at present have a pending warrant for their arrest.

6. Since a law is in place, why not just compel the authorities to implement it?

This should actually be the situation. Perhaps in other countries, that is the case - all that remains to be done is a strict implementation of the law. But unfortunately not so in the Philippines. With the presently serious graft and corrupt practices of concerned law enforcement agencies in the Philippines, the implementation of the Animal Welfare Act is the least of their priorities. In real Philippine terms, if you were a complainant and you approached a particular law enforcement agency to implement the Animal Welfare Act more so concerning the raid and apprehension of illegal dog slaughterhouses or those selling dog meat, you will most likely encounter the following situations/scenarios:

The law enforcement authorities will most likely look at you differently, in a manner as though, who are you to complain of the dog trade wherein it has already been a long time practice and even generates income.

If you insist on the implementation of the law, you will, at the very least, have to spend your own money for the authorities to act accordingly (provide for gas money, provide for a little something [monetary remuneration] for their efforts etc.). Unfortunately, this is how corrupt the system of most law enforcers are in the Philippines.

You will hear from the enforcers that there are more important crimes that need their attention, and the bottom line for them would be what's in it for them, why will they bother to lift a finger when they do not stand to gain anything (monetary remuneration) for their efforts?! Again, that is the endemic graft and corrupt practice showing its ugly face in the attitude and mentality of Philippine law enforcers.

7. What can Linis Gobyerno do for a long term solution to the problem?

With  Linis Gobyerno spearheading the enforcement of RA 8485 (Animal Welfare Act), the law enforcers will have no choice, and be compelledto act accordingly, lest they themselves be charged by Linis Gobyerno for negligence and/or dereliction of duty, violation of the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and other violations of the law.

This is the inherent advantage of Linis Gobyerno. Once we spearhead this project, the law enforcement authorities know that we will not tolerate any dilly-dallying on their part nor will we hesitate to take them to court for their ineptitude or inefficiency, thus they will be compelled to act accordingly and arrest violators of the law.

8. Aside from apprehension of violators what else should be done?

As Linis Gobyerno aims for a long term solution to the problem, the full implementation of the law has to be applied. Meaning, the aspect of steadfast apprehension up to a successful prosecution has to be undertaken.

This, to our mind is the best deterrent to others who may intend to enter the trade and/or continue with their illegal dog trade. Unless, the full force of the law is applied to the violators, and unless we, thru our private prosecutors, undertake the prosecution of the violators, only then will they take the law seriously.

Unfortunately, we cannot be optimistic with the present crop of public prosecutors to handle the prosecution of violators. We know for a fact that a substantial number of our public prosecutors and judges can be bribed.

Therefore, if prosecution of violators of the law is left in their hands, it would be easy for violators to get themselves off the hook by bribing the assigned prosecutor and judges.

Our own private lawyers (prosecutors) should do the prosecuting together with the strong lobby efforts on the judges concerned for the strict implementation of the law in order to ensure the conviction of violators.

We are convinced that once we have achieved successful prosecution and conviction with maximum penalty, only then will dog traders take the law seriously. Once the law enforcers are up on their toes and seriously implementing the law on violators (from the traders and retailers, down to the outlets serving cooked dog meat), we believe that a difficult and risky situation (strong probability for conviction)will set  in, and as a whole,  the supply and demand situation of the dog meat will no longer be worth the risk.

9. Is Linis Gobyerno in favor of euthanasia or mercy killing?

As much as possible Linis Gobyerno adheres to a strict NO KILL POLICY for dogs impounded (un-claimed) and/or recovered during raids and apprehensions. With due diligence, we believe that for every displaced dog awaits a caring owner. However, due to the realities of rehabilitating and/or maintaining recovered dogs and finding suitable homes, we must consider under limited and un-avoidable circumstances the practice of euthanasia but only under the strict supervision of a duly-licensed and trustworthy veterinarian

Should you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to write us.
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