‘Bored’ home quarantined dwellers turn to gambling as pastime

By Jennifer P. Rendon

In the 10th day of home quarantine, some bored residents turned to gambling to while their excess time away.

But getting edgy or restless will not excuse residents who are into illegal gambling.

In Iloilo City, police acknowledged that several residents have resorted to either playing card games such as pusoy and tong-its or even cockfighting to get through the “home quarantine” order.

“They claimed that this is their outlet… pampalipas-oras. But this is wrong. First, it’s illegal. Second, they defy the purpose of the enhanced community quarantine, which is for them to stay home,” Police Captain Shella Mae Sangrines, ICPO spokesperson, said.

On March 29, the Iloilo City Police Station 1 conducted two police operations in the heavily-populated villages of Barangay Rizal Pala-Pala II and Barangay Tanza-Timawa.

Nine persons were arrested in the two separate operations.

Police Major Francisco Paguia, ICPS 1 commander, said one person was arrested for illegal cockfighting.

Joem Polmo, 36, of Barangay Rizal Pala-Pala II was arrested for running a “pauwak” operation in the area.

But Paguia said 10 other suspects fled.

Recovered from the scene were six fighting cocks and a fighting cock ring.

Polmo’s enhanced community quarantine pass and barangay volunteer identification cards were also seized in the area.

He will be charged for violation of Presidential Decree 449 (illegal cockfighting) and resistance and disobedience to a person or agent in authority.

Two hours after Polmo’s arrest, eight persons were arrested for playing pusoy at Barangay Tanza-Timawa Zone II.

They were identified as Rodolfo Cuambot, 30; Ronill Cuambot, 30; Joey Carbaquil, 35; and Joebert Carbaquil, all residents of Barangay Washington, Sitio Buntoranon, Escalante City, Negros Occidental.

Also arrested were Bonifacio Jaspe, 31, of Barangay Zone 2, Cadiz City, Negros Occidental; Ronel Faigones, 18, of Barangay Tigmarabo, Miag-ao, Iloilo; Rj Labrador, 32, of Perasol St., Bingawan, Iloilo; and Oliver Cuambot, 28, of Barangay Poblacion Sur, Sigma, Capiz.

All suspects are workers who are all temporary residing in the said area.

Paguia said four persons were caught playing pusoy while the other four were betting on the side.

Seized from the suspects were a deck of cards and P5,170 cash.

ICPO has conducted five anti-illegal gambling operations from March 21 to 30.