TWELVE persons, who are beneficiaries of the social amelioration program (SAP) and Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), in Victorias City were arrested for illegal drugs and gambling.

On Wednesday afternoon, April 22, three male residents of Crossing Mallorca in Barangay 19 were caught playing “tong-its” by operatives of Victorias City Police Station.

The police said two of the suspects are 4Ps beneficiaries while the other is a recipient of SAP.

All just received P6,000 each in cash assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Recovered from their possession one set deck of cards, one table mat and P3,560 betting money.

The three suspects are detained at the police station’s custodial facility and are facing charges for violation of Presidential Decree 1602 which prescribes stiffer penalties for illegal gambling.

They told authorities that playing “tong-its” is just their “past time” due to boredom brought by the prevailing enhanced community quarantine.

On Tuesday afternoon, six persons, all are SAP recipients, were also arrested for playing illegal gambling specifically “mahjong” in an operation at Villa Victoria in Barangay 13.

Lieutenant Colonel Eduardo Corpuz, chief of Victorias City Police Station, said the suspects, three are females, also just received P6,000 each in social amelioration from the government.

Recovered from them two sets of “mahjong” tiles, two table mats and P55 betting money.

They will also face charges for illegal gambling, he added.

On Monday evening, three suspects were arrested in a drug bust at Villa Miranda in Barangay 6A.

Corpuz said the suspects, two of them are female, also just received P6,000 worth of financial assistance through the SAP.

Recovered from their possession seven sachets of suspected “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride) worth about P20,000, drug bust item, P400 marked money and P2,000 believed to be proceed money.

The suspects refused to give statement to the police, he added.

They are also detained at the police station and are facing charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.