Arrests to be made at wakes with multiple gambling tables in Tagbilaran

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Arrests to be made at wakes with multiple gambling tables in Tagbilaran

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Residents play cards near a coffin during a funeral wake in Manila. Betting is particularly common at wakes because the family of the deceased gets a share of the winnings to help cover funeral expenses. | ERIK DE CASTRO/REUTERS

Those caught gambling even in wakes in Tagbilaran City may end up behind bars and slapped with a fine amid the police’s crackdown against “all forms of gambling.”

Tagbilaran City Police chief Lieutenant Col. Oscar Boyles said that only a single table is allowed to be set up for gambling held in wakes as those caught with multiple tables will be arrested.  

Police nationwide have waged an all-out war against all forms of gambling but Boyles said that an exemption can be made during wakes as respect to tradition.

The move to allow “minimal” gambling at wakes was implemented in line with the directive of newly installed Central Visayas police (PRO-7) director Brigadier Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro.

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“Sa patay, per directive ni RD namin, pinapayagan niya usa ka table sa usang patay kasi kasama na sa kultura na pero pag sumobra dili na pwede, dakpon nana,” he said.

It is customary in the Philippines that a portion of the winnings or the “tong” during gambling in wakes go to the bereaved family to help with funeral expenses.

In the National Capital Region however, former PRO 7 chief Major General Debold Sinas, now NCR Police Office director, ordered a total ban of gambling even during wakes.

According to Boyles, those caught with multiple gambling tables will be arrested and could face up to one month imprisonment and a fine.

“Ang akong instruction sa mga mobile patrol namin na once na makakita sila og ngana ang policy nato, usa ra ang payagan pag sumobra na, dakop na,” he said.

“Kasagaran, kung first offender pianapayagan ng hurado na multa lang siya,” he added.

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Meanwhile, the city’s top cop reminded his troops to refrain from gambling themselves or face administrative and criminal charges.

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Boyles has also ordered the shutdown of all kiosk of Globaltech Mobile Online Corporation which operates the “Peryahan ng Bayan” numbers game.

“Pinapatrabaho ko na lahat ‘yan, wala akong pinapayagan na may operation diyan kasi bawal ‘yan,” he said.

The anti-gambling drive is also being implemented at the provincial level with multiple arrests made during anti-gambling operations in the previous month.

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During a three day SEMPO (Synchronized Enhanced Managing Police Operations) from February 18 to 20, 11 individuals were arrested across the province for alleged illegal gambling based on data from the Bohol Provincial Police Office. (A. Doydora)

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