By Jennifer P. Rendon
Eighteen persons were arrested in two separate operations against illegal cockfighting operations in Iloilo province on August 29, 2021.
Nine persons were collared in a tupada around 12:30 pm Sunday at Barangay Malayu-an, Ajuy town.
They were identified as Roy Flores, 57; Joerex Fausto, 42; Ernie Galopo, 40; Johny Baruela, 45; Jose Fausto, 75; Bonie Baclayo, 38; Rey Soberon, 49; Enrico Sarmiento, 33; and Joan Artocilla, 47. They are all residents of Malayu-an village.
All were caught betting in the cockfight.
Police recovered an improvised cockfighting ring, two fighting cocks, and P1,500 cash bet.
An hour later, members of Oton Police Station and the 1st Iloilo Provincial Mobile Force Company swooped down on another tupada at Sitio Tompok, Barangay Pulo Maestra Vita, Oton.
Arrested were Joey Sainz, 32: Simplicio Gagnao, 71; Reven Anaod, 23; and Wilfredo Peñascosas, 27; all residents of Barangay Pulo Maestra Vita.
Also collared were Charles John Anas, 42, of Barangay Hibao-an, Pavia, Iloilo; Regie Majero, 42, of Hibao-an, Mandurriao, Iloilo City; Julius Juarez, 50, of Barangay Ban-ag, Alimodian, Iloilo: and Alan Valderama, 53, of Barangay Bita Sur, Oton.
Police seized four heads of roosters, P3,500 cash bets, and an improvised arena.
A few months ago, Colonel Gilbert Gorero, Iloilo police chief, ordered the intensified anti-illegal gambling operations in the province.
Gorero explained that illegal gambling activity is one venue where minimum health protocol is not usually practiced.
In most cases in rural areas, neighbors who play mahjong, tong its, or billiards, don’t wear masks or observe social distancing.
As Iloilo province is battling the spread of Covid-19, “we must ensure that protocols are being followed.”
The suspects are now detained and will be charged for violation of Presidential Decree 449, on the other hand, is the Anti-Cockfighting Law of 1974.