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Animal-rights group aghast over ex-Gov. Singson's African animal hunt

November 27, 2013

Former Ilocos Sur governor Chavit Singson seems to be back to his animal-shooting ways as photos of what looks to be a hunt in Africa has recently surfaced.

Captured for posterity is Singson posing with animals he shot to death in Africa's Kalahari desertduring, the Philippine Times of Southern Nevada reported, a birthday safari-hunt.

According to the Times, Singson indulged in his favorite hobby with friends and family last June 21, and his "still-remarkable marksmanship" took down a male lion and an antelope.

The photo of him with the bullet-holed antelope even graced his birthday cake.

The Times pointed out that to go hunting in the Kalahari requires a license. Hunters will have to wait a year for one to be issued.

There has lately been much interest in the Singson family's shooting habits, triggered by pictures of Singson and his daughters duck hunting.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, regardless of the photos' date, called out the former governor for his enthusiasm in killing animal life.

"Kung talagang binibigyan niya ng halaga at talagang mahal niya 'yung mga hayop, sana 'yung kinukuha na lang niya ay 'yung retrato ng mga hayop, hindi 'yung mga buhay nila," said Jana Sevilla, a campaigner for PETA, during Tuesday's episode of GMA News TV's “News To Go”.

Sevilla also argued that more people may view game hunting as a trivial practice if influential figures, like Singson, treat killing animals as an everyday thing.

"Kung nagkaka-overpopulation 'yung mga lion dun sa Africa, dapat natutugunan siya sa mas humane way para ma-control ng government nila. Hindi 'yung pagpatay," said Sevilla.

Legality and adherance to the law was Singson's defense, who said he acquired his hunting permit from the African government before he drew his guns.

"Legal lahat. Gobyerno nagbibigay ng lisensya. Kung hindi ko babarilin, babarilin 'yan ng iba,” said Singson.

“Kailangan ko lang sa balwarte as additional traction sa mga tao," he added.

Last Nov. 5, the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau started an investigation into the Singsons' duck hunt, given that hunting Philippine ducks was illegal due to its inclusion in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.