Kagawad, five others caught playing tong-its

By Jennifer P. Rendon

With rice fields and trees as a backdrop, six persons, including a village official, enjoyed an afternoon of card games in Estancia, Iloilo.

Playing tong-its might be something to while time away for the group, but for the police, it’s plain and simple gambling.

Thus, cops nabbed Barangay Kagawad Erwin Babas, 52, of Botongon village, Estancia; and Jocelyn Gallardo, 32; Lovelyn Gabriel, 30; Ellen Mae Dilan, 25; Analinda Gabriel, 53; and Mark Tacurda, 50, all residents of Barangay Daan Banwa.

Captain Arniel Buraga, Estancia police chief, said the group was playing on two tables in the middle of a rice field at Daan Banwa village when policemen stormed the place around 2:30 p.m. of Jan 27, 2023.

Recovered from their possession were two sets of playing cards and their bet money.

Buraga said they did not seize the rest of the suspects’ money that was not on the table.

“We had to make the arrest because there have been reports that they constantly play cards in the area,” he said.

The area cannot be penetrated easily because the suspects could see incoming cops and would run away, but Buraga said they had an asset who monitored the players.

The suspects are now detained and will be charged for violation of Presidential Decree 1602.