Brgy. official avoids police raid

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Saturday, February 9, 2013


THE common-law wife of a barangay councilor in Labangon, Cebu City was arrested by police Thursday night for allegedly acting as a coordinator of an illegal numbers game.

A team from the Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG) 7 seized gambling paraphernalia such as fax machines, tally sheets and record books from Maria Mercedez Dagatan, 53.

Her alleged cohorts—Mila Dosdos, 56, and Marilyn Ursal, 48—were caught in the act of tallying bets in masiao and suertres.

Chief Insp. George Ylanan, RSOG 7 head, said the subject of their operation was Labangon Barangay Councilor Rudy Tabasa, the live-in partner of Dagatan.

“He is in our watch list of suspected personalities involved in the illegal activity,” he said.

Not around

The RSOG team arrived at Tabasa’s place around 8:40 p.m. but the councilor was not around. The police saw Dagatan, Dosdos and Ursal instead.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama admitted that Tabasa is a Team Rama supporter, but he said this does not have anything to do with the barangay official’s alleged involvement in illegal gambling.

The camp of Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district), Rama’s rival in the May elections, questioned the mayor’s relationship with Tabasa.

“He has been a councilman for a long time. Why are they questioning me? He is Team Rama but that is inconsequential,” Rama told reporters yesterday.

No politics

The mayor did not say if he was aware of Tabasa’s alleged illegal activities.

Ylanan said the operation was not politically motivated. He added that it was in compliance with Police Regional Office 7 Director Marcelo Garbo Jr.’s memorandum to intensify the fight against illegal gambling.

In an interview yesterday, Dagatan said Tabasa stopped getting involved in illegal gambling when he became a barangay official.

She became a coordinator in 2006 and was previously arrested for her role in illegal gambling.

“Wala man gud ko'y laing trabaho (I don’t have other means of livelihood),” Dagatan said.

She said illegal gambling activities slowed down due to the series of police operations. “Usahay di kaabot og P10,000 ang among adlaw (there are days that our bets do not reach P10,000),” she added.

Also last Thursday, RSOG 7 operatives caught a suspected big-time drug pusher in Barangay Lorega-San Miguel, Cebu City.

The police arrested Russ Aquino with a warrant issued by Regional Trial Court Branch 57 Judge Enriqueta Loquillano.

Ylanan said the suspect can be considered a level two drug pusher, who can dispose of at least 200 grams a day.

He said Aquino is in their watch list of drug suspects.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 09, 2013.

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