AMID the strict directive of Police Regional Office 2 director, Brigadier General Crizaldo O. Nieves to fully implement quarantine rules and go after all illegal gambling activities in the provinces, Cagayan policemen on Thursday night apprehended 35 persons found to be playing ‘mahjong’ at their neighbor’s wake.
Cagayan Police Provincial Office director, Colonel Ariel N. Quilang said the 35, the eldest of them 66-years old, were found to be playing at seven different mahjong tables at the wake of their neighbor Rufo Callangan in Bgy. San Roque, Enrile.
Quilang said that acting on a complaint from a concerned citizen, members of the Enrile Municipal Police Station led by Major Rodel Gervasio raided the illegal gambling area where they made the arrests and confiscated 13 sets of mahjong tiles, seven wooden tables, various mahjong paraphernalia and P520 in cash bets.
The official said that many of the players fled on foot towards different directions during the raid but the 35, many of them senior citizens and the rest all of legal age were apprehended.
“The 35 were apprehended for illegal gambling and violation of the social distancing rules. It was obvious that they took advantage of their neighbor’s wake to play mahjong in public unaware of the fact that they will be the subject of complaints for quarantine protocol violations,” said Quilang.
The official said that for humanitarian considerations, the 35 persons were sent home after their names were recorded since the local police detention cell could not accommodate them all.
They will be facing charges for violation of Presidential Decree 1602 as amended by Republic Act 9287 or the amended anti-illegal gambling law and violation of RA 11332 specifically the rules on social distancing to prevent further spread of the deadly COVID-19.