SAP beneficiaries nabbed for drugs, gambling

Three beneficiaries of the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP) were arrested in an illegal drug sting at Barangay 6-A, Victorias City, Negros Occidental Monday. (Photo courtesy of Nocppo)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – Nine persons who were beneficiaries of the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP) were arrested for illegal drugs and illegal gambling in Victorias City, Negros Occidental early this week.

On April 20, target subject Belen Castro, 42, of Barangay Mambulac, Silay City; Jerson Miranda, 29, and Maricar Dolendo, 37, both residents of Barangay 6-A were arrested in a buy-bust in Barangay 6-A.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Eduardo Corpuz, city police chief, said the suspects received their SAP allowances from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) last Sunday.

SAP is the national government’s assistance to families affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Police recovered from the trio suspected shabu worth P20,000, the P400 marked money, and P2,000 cash.

The following day, six individuals were also allegedly caught engaging in illegal gambling in the city.

Cases for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 will be filed against the three suspects while gambling charges will be filed against the six others.

Earlier, Police Colonel Romeo Baleros, director of Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (Nocppo), issued a stern warning against persons who dabble in illegal gambling, illegal drugs, and other similar activities amid the pandemic.

With the recent apprehension, Baleros directed all personnel of city and municipal police stations to step up the intelligence-driven operations against these illegal acts.

He expressed deep concern with the incidents, especially the misuse of government funds.

“The financial aid is supposed to help alleviate the impact of COVID-19 to the vulnerable families, instead of buying for their essential needs, they chose their vices and it’s disheartening,” he said.

He reiterated his warning against such acts especially that the province is still under the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).