AGENTS of the National Capital Region Field Unit (NCRFU) of the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) on Sunday morning raided a compound in Pandacan, Manila where illegal “tupada” games are being held and arrested 56 “sabungeros” including three local barangay officials, the Journal Group learned yesterday.
CIDG-NCRFU chief, Colonel Randy Glenn F. Silvio said the suspects were arrested inside the Baj Softdrinks Dealer’ compound located at Beata Street in Pandacan, Manila which was raided by his men at 9:45 a.m. Sunday.
In a report to PNP-CIDG director, Maj. Gen. Albert Ignatius D. Ferro, the official said that the 56 “sabungeros” arrested include the owner of the Baj Softdrinks Dealer identified as Allan Boado, 40, chairman of Bgy. 846, Zone 92 in Pandacan; Antonio Bautista, 61, chairman of Bgy. 887 in Zone 98, Sta. Ana District; and Albino Aguirre, 65, “kagawad” of Bgy. 843 in Zone 92, Pandacan.
Col. Silvio said that Boado was identified as the “operator” or “maintainer” of the raided illegal gambling den while Bautista and Aguirre are “bettors” or “sabungeros.”
Recovered during the raid were P30,000 in cash bets, various fighting cock gaffs (tari), 12 live and three dead fighting cocks, one set of gaff paraphernalia, over a dozen cages for the game fowls, several bottles of cock boosters and performance enhancers as well as a syringe being used to inject the fighting cocks before they fight each other.
The official said that his men led by Lt. Col. Jynleo Bautista and Maj. Edison Ouano and operatives from the Manila Police District Station 10 under Lt. Col. Dennis Rodriguez conducted the raid amid information that regular “tupada” games are being held in the compound owned by Boado.
“Prior to the raid, our intelligence operatives monitored the huge crowd of men participating in the “tupada” games and shouting either ‘Meron’ or ‘Wala’ while holding their cash bets,” Silvio said.
A melee broke out shortly after the CIDG-NCRFU officers announced the raid, with the “sabungeros” scampering in different directions and directly resisting and disobeying the lawmen until they were subdued.
The suspects will be facing charges for violation of Presidential Decree 449 or illegal cockfighting as amended by PD 1602 or the anti-illegal gambling law and violation of the physical distancing rules imposed by the government to help curb down the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.
PD 1602 states that any barangay official in whose jurisdiction such gambling house is found and which house has the reputation of a gambling place shall suffer the penalty of prision correccional in its medium period and a fine ranging from P500 to P2,000 and temporary absolute disqualification from holding public office.
The CIDG-NCRFU raid was conducted in the wake of the unit’s stepped-up implementation of the CIDG “Oplan Bolilyo” aimed at stopping all forms of illegal gambling activities in Metro Manila and amid the strict “No-Take Policy” of PNP chief, General Dionardo B. Carlos.
The anti-tupada raid came in the wake of the ongoing police investigation into the case of at least 26 “sabungeros” who have mysteriously disappeared after going to the Manila Arena in Sta. Ana and other similar establishments in Bulacan and Laguna provinces.