FIFTY-THREE people, including their barangay captain, were apprehended by police on Monday, June 29, 2020, for violating quarantine protocol by holding an illegal cockfight in Barangay Kal-anan, Tabogon town, Cebu.

Police Col. Roderick Mariano, Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) director, said the 53 cockfighting enthusiasts were arrested by operatives of the 1st Provincial Mobile Force Company (PMFC).

Mariano said aside from those who were arrested during their operation, Kal-anan Barangay Captain Herberto Lobitaña was also charged with an offense after they found that the village official allowed illegal cockfighting in his barangay despite strict quarantine protocol.

Mariano told SunStar Cebu: “As per the report of the participants, they had been holding cockfights for a long time, so they don’t think he has no idea about the illegal activity in the area. That is why we will also file a case against him.”

Lobitaña is set to face criminal and administrative charges.

Mariano urged village officials to know their responsibilities especially during a pandemic, including reminding their constituents to avoid mass gathering to prevent the spread of the disease.

Mariano said they lack the manpower to monitor all illegal activities in various areas in the province.

There were some who sought their permission to hold activities in their village fiestas but they would usually refuse due to the protocol on mass gatherings. (AYB, JKV)