Cop, councilor arrested for gambling in casinos

A POLICEWOMAN from Cebu City and a municipal councilor from Cordova town, Cebu, were caught gambling in casinos late Thursday and early Friday.

Police Officer 2 Cyrelle Marie Bayate, 30, assigned at Police Station 1 on Sikatuna Street, Barangay Pari-an, Cebu City, was caught Friday dawn, January 25, playing inside a hotel casino in Cebu City.

"Nagmahay ko. Nasayang ko sa akong trabaho. (I regret it. I wasted my job.)," said Bayate.

On January 25, Cordova Municipal Councilor Lemuel Pogoy was caught in a joint operation by Regional Intelligence Division and Lapu-Lapu City-City Intelligence Branch playing slot machine in a hotel casino in Lapu-Lapu City.

“After the declaration, we dispatched intelligence operatives to all major cities in Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu. And it turned out to be positive,” Supt. Josefino Ligan, deputy chief of the Regional Intelligence Division (RID), said.

Both government employees violated the Presidential Decree 1869 and Memorandum Circular Number 6, which enjoined "all government officials and employees to strictly observe and comply with prohibition against going to gambling casinos."

Bayate was caught at dawn yesterday in Cebu City while Pogoy was arrested last Thursday evening in Lapu-Lapu.

The Cebu City Intelligence Branch (CIB) chief, Chief Insp. Cristopher Navida, said that Bayate was placed under surveillance after a citizen tipped them about what she was doing.

You’ve been warned

“Her arrest will serve as a wake-up call to other police officers who are patronizing casinos. They should just stop it,” Navida said.

Senior Insp. Narrolf Tan, chief of the Parian Police, said that Bayate was part of his office staff.

“I’ve heard reports that she was not present when it’s time for her duty but she complied when I instructed her to,” Tan said.

In an interview, Bayate said that she will face the charges filed against her.

“Ako nang atubangon, Ma’am. Nasayangan ko sa akong trabaho (I will face the charges. I regret what this will mean for my job),” she said.

Aside from the gambling charges, Bayate will also face administrative and criminal cases.

Confiscated from her was a homemade .38 caliber Smith and Wesson with five live bullets and some documents.

Bayate got involved in an issue after her roommate allegedly committed suicide in 2014.

With the arrests, different police offices and stations are now urged to monitor their personnel as regards gambling in casinos.

Chief Insp. Mark Sucalit, CIB chief of the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office (LCPO), said that they caught Pogoy in plain view, while he played with a slot machine.

“We caught him in front of the machine,” Sucalit said.

Last Wednesday, Dela Rosa said that the violation will be placed under the PNP’s one-strike policy and may cause the dismissal of officers. (CID/With reports from Johanna Marie O. Bajenting, SunStar Cebu)

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