440 illegal gamblers arrested in Mindanao

STEPPED-UP campaign by the Police Regional Office 12 against all forms of illegal gambling activities in the region amid the COVID-19 pandemic last month resulted in the arrest of 440 persons and the confiscation of nearly P70,000 in cash bets, PRO12 director, Brigadier General Michael John F. Dubria said yesterday.

In a report to Philippine National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, the Central Mindanao police director said a total of P68,922 in cash bets were seized by his men following the conduct of 223 anti-illegal gambling operations across the region in June.

Dubria said the South Cotabato Police Provincial Office arrested 124 suspects and confiscated P13,492 in cash bets from them while the Cotabato Police Provincial Office hauled 112 men to jail and recovered P19,273 in different denominations from them.

On the other hand, 101 were arrested while P17,935 in cash bets were seized by the General Santos City Police Office. The Sultan Kudarat Police Provincial Office arrested 81 persons and recovered P12,634 in bets from the accused.

Lastly,  the Sarangani Provincial Police Office jailed 22 persons and recovered P5,588 in cash bets from them.

Dubria said the accused were arrested while engaged in illegal ‘tupada’ or cockfighting, horse fighting, bingo, mah-jong and card games in public in violation not only of the anti-illegal gambling law but also of the social distancing measures imposed by the government to prevent the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus in the region.

“I have directed all my provincial and city directors and chiefs of police to continue the crackdown on illegal gambling and intensify their operations against known illegal gambling operators in their areas whether there is a COVID-19 pandemic or no virus at all,” the PRO12 director told the Journal Group.