Kristin C. Bernabe of the Philippine Daily Inquirer reports that an article published in the October 2012 issue of National Geographic titled "Ivory worship" refers to the Philippines as "one of the destinations of the illegal ivory trade." The article was written by Bryan Christy who, according to the report, had "visited the country five times for the story."
Bernabe noted that in the article, Christy revealed: "Thousands of elephants are butchered every year for their ivory tusks that are carved into religious objects, including the most-prized Sto. Niño (icon of Jesus Christ as a boy) in the Philippines."
Among Christy’s interview subjects were Msgr. Cristobal Garcia of Cebu, whom he described as "one of the best known ivory collectors in the country" and Fr. Vicente Lina Jr. of Malolos. Christy revealed that both priests seemed to know that the ivory used to carve religious figures was from illegal trade.
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