Police arrest 71 volleyball ‘gamblers’

GAMING and gambling are a bad mix.

This is what 71 individuals arrested for a volleyball betting game in Colon Street on Friday afternoon, March 6, 2020 realized after they were charged with illegal gambling.

However, the “gamblers” contended that what they did was “only for fun.”

At the grandstand of the Police Regional Office (PRO-7), the 72 individuals gathered following their arrest by the Regional Special Operations Group 7 for gambling at a volleyball game in Colon Street, Cebu City.

Police Brig. Gen. Domingo Cabillan, PRO 7 deputy director for administration, said they received a complaint from a private school in Leon Kilat over the noise of volleyball players which disrupt classes.

When the police conducted a surveillance they witnessed how noisy the game became and the gambling involved in violation of Presidential Decree 1602, which prescribes stiffer penalties on illegal gambling.

“They play volleyball from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m, causing a disturbance to the students, and also what they are doing -- betting -- is illegal,” said Cabillan.

However, according to Tony Larobis, one of those arrested, they played volleyball to have fun and the bet was for the maintenance of the court.

He added that the physical exertion is beneficial to his health, especially since he has high cholesterol.

However, the PNP has stressed that games involving money is considered illegal.

“Playing volleyball is fine but not when the purpose is gambling,” said Larobis in Cebuano.

The other defendants complained that even those who were in the area watching the game were also arrested.

One of those arrested, a member the comedy duo Dos Gwardias, said he was just going to buy fish in Carbon market but he was taken to the police camp. He also alleged that the police took his P200.

“I was just there for a while because I had time and I really enjoy watching volleyball because I am from the province. I bought fish in Carbon and stayed to watch the game seeing that there were a lot of good players. I didn’t expect the police to arrest us, hence we weren’t able to eat the fish for dinner,” the arrested spectator said.

The police seized P27,000 in cash, which is part of the bets of the players and spectators.

Meanwhile, the PRO 7 advised barangay officials to monitor gambling games which are prohibited by law.

The volleyball game in Colon was said to have started in the ‘90s where players from Cebu province would participate. (AYB /RSR)


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