By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Ten people were arrested after they were caught engaging in an illegal cockfight at Escalante City’s Barangay Pinapugasan and in Barangay Robles, La Castellana town Sunday afternoon.
Escalante police identified the arrested as Lloyd Aguilar, 49; Federico Gellamac, 66; Ronald Andaya, 37; Fernando Destura, 57; Rogelio Baclayon, 34; Rednan Coniendo, 28; and Roberto Rayo, 51.
Police seized two live roosters with gaffs still attached, two dead roosters, and gambling money amounting to P150.
Also arrested in La Castellana were Victoriano Esmedia, 81; Jeff Shawn Tatoy, 25; and Josefino Esmedia, 50. Confiscated from their possession were one live rooster, two dead roosters, four gaffs, and gambling money amounting to P3,320.
Based on the information provided by the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOCPPO), the raid on the illegal cockfights were made after both police stations in Escalante City and La Castellana town were tipped off of the illegal activity.
The 10 suspects are facing illegal gambling charges and are presently detained at the Escalante City Police Station and La Castellana Municipal Police Station, respectively.
Earlier, NOCPPO spokesperson Lt. Abegael Donasco said cockfight events are still prohibited in the province due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Negros Occidental Provincial Administrator, Atty. Rayfrando Diaz, meanwhile, said holding online cockfights is not prohibited under the modified general community quarantine, but organizers of such events must coordinate with the local authorities first.
Diaz said live viewers should not be present, although there should be designated areas for viewing and proper health protocols should be observed./DGB, WDJ