GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 20 April) — At least 12 persons were arrested in this city and South Cotabato province over the weekend for engaging in illegal cockfights in their communities amid the enhanced community quarantine to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID019).
Col. Lino Capellan, Police Regional Office-12 spokesperson, said Monday the suspects were collared in separate operations on Sunday afternoon in Barangay Conel here and Barangay Basag in Tboli, South Cotabato.
Citing a report from the city police office, he said seven persons were caught in the act of having an illegal cockfight, locally known as “tari-tari” past 1 p.m. in Purok Udagre, Barangay Conel.
“A concerned citizen reported the matter and sent pictures of the illegal gambling activity through Facebook,” he said in a report.
He said Col. Aden Lagradante, the city police director, immediately sent a team of operatives to the scene and found the suspects placing bets while a cockfight was ongoing.
The suspects were identified as Romel Domingo Andong, 29; Danny Lom-ok, 29; Jefferson Alipin Edoloverio, 24; Dennis Naje Tesiorna, 31; Allan Cajegas Ypanto, 45; Von Brian Gectica Dichosa, 22; and, Vincent Macorol Dichosa, 25.
Recovered at the scene were two fighting cocks used in the illegal activity and PHP1,220 in bet money.
In Tboli, Capellan said five suspects were caught engaging in an illegal cockfight past 2 p.m. in Sitio Lubia, Barangay Basag.
He said the activity was also reported to the municipal police station by a concerned citizen.
Capellan said personnel from the municipal police sub-station found at the scene a group of bettors having a cockfight and cornered seven suspects through the help of barangay peacekeeping volunteers.
Arrested were Anthony Narciso, 28; Mannuel Marco Jr, 26; Gerald Jade Cagandang, 20; Jay Roie Quilot, 26; and, Bartolome Tadle, 59, all residents of the neighboring Barangay Glamang in Polomolok town.
Capellan said the suspects will be charged with violation of Presidential decree 1602 or illegal cockfighting and Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code or disobedience to a person in authority or the agents of such person.
“It is sad that despite all the reminders and all the restrictions we were implementing against illegal gambling amid our current situation, there were still persons who would not listen and cooperate. Let me all remind you that we are still on regular duty and all violators of the law will be arrested and properly charged,” he added.