CANDABA - Mayor Jerry Pelayo apprehended Sunday the players and bettors of an unauthorized invitational basketball game turned gambling among the youth and even heads of the families.

Games are held at Miss Earth Park in Barangay Mandasig here, where people bet huge amounts of money, ranging from P10,000 to P50,000 per game.

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Concerned parents and housewives have asked the assistance of Sun.Star Pampanga to stop the said "games of chance" disguised as "basketball games" as they claimed that it promotes illegal gambling and immorality.

The parents alleged that their children's school allowances are put to waste while housewives said that the meager income of their husbands was also used as bets.

"Ano pang kakainin namin kung natalo na sa pusta ang kinita ng asawa ko?" Lucy Sagum, a housewife asked.

Upon learning the report, Pelayo has personally apprehended and invited the referee for further investigation at the municipal police station here.

Most of the players come from different barangays here, as far as Mexico, San Luis, Arayat, Sta. Ana, Apalit, and San Simon.

Pelayo said that last year, he has already banned the said unauthorized basketball games.

"Salamat at naiulat sa atin ang ganitong sugal. Hindi natin papayagan ang ganyan dahil sa susunod kung wala ng maipusta ay magnanakaw na ang mga iyan," the mayor said.

Pelayo said no sports games would be held at Miss Earth Park without seeking approval permits from his office. (Herbert P. Mapiles)