TWO barangay officials from the town of Argao along with three others were arrested by local police after they were caught holding an illegal cockfight in Barangay Canbanua on Thursday afternoon,
Aug. 6, 2020.
Police arrested Barangay Canbanua councilor Edilor Salomere, 58, and barangay treasurer Jimster Bajenting, 34.
Also arrested were Ruel Escalante, 54; Nikki Romanillos Yting, 50; and Angelo Abella Bajo, 32.
Three other suspects identified as Lemuel Canete and Carlo Quintanar, both from Barangay Poblacion, and Richard Sarsaba from Barangay Canbanua eluded arrest.
Police Capt. Elston Dabon III, Argao town police chief, told reporters that they were tipped off by a concerned citizen about an illegal cockfight allegedly being organized by Yting despite the Covid-19
“We caught them red-handed holding the derby,” Dabon said in Cebuano.
Police confiscated proceeds from the illegal activity and two gamecocks, one of which was already dead.
Following this, Dabon reminded Argao residents to avoid holding mass gatherings and other prohibited activities.
Argao and other towns and cities of Cebu Province are under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status.
Dabon urged the public to always observe health protocol such as the wearing of masks and observing social distancing.
This was not the first time public officials from the Province were caught attending an illegal cockfight despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
In July, seven officials, including three Barangay captains and four town councilors, were arrested by operatives of the Regional Intelligence Division (RID) Central Visayas during an illegal cockfight in Sitio Tagasa, Barangay Bitoon, Daanbantayan town.
Aside from criminal charges, public officials involved in illegal cockfighting could face administrative sanctions. / AYB /MMC