TACLOBAN CITY-The regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is calling on the public to help its intensified drive to stop the illegal possession and trade of wildlife in Eastern Visayas. DENR-8 Regional Director Leonardo Sibbaluca made this call after 15 pythons were recovered at the house of Albuera Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa and his son Kerwin. The Espinosas were tagged by President Rodrigo Duterte to be in the illegal drug trade with Kerwin alleged as the region’s number drug lord. The beleaguered mayor, however, denied that he is into illegal drugs activity. Sibbaluca said that illegal trade and possession of wildlife is punishable under Republic Act 9147 otherwise known as the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001 with imposed imprisonment and fines as determined by the judge. Sibbaluca said that he is appealing and encouraging the public to report to his office or to the field offices in the region regarding the collection, possession or selling of wildlife for rescue. The Espinosas, based on DENR record, have no permit to possess the animals. Sibbaluca said that the rescue was made possible when one anonymous caller called his office last August 12 regarding the pythons at the custody of the Espinosas. The rescued animals were brought to the DENR-8 Regional Wildlife Rescue Center in Palo, Leyte. They are to be release to any of the DENR-8 protected areas in the region, as their habitat, when their health already good enough to sustain in the wild as determined by the veterinarian.  (RESTITUTO A. CAYUBIT)