11 'basketball players' nabbed after residents complain about noise

·2 min read

ELEVEN persons were arrested after they were caught betting while playing basketball at a basketball court in Barangay Aliwanay, Balamban town, midwest Cebu around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 6, 2022.

Senior Master Sergeant Eugene Taboada, investigator of Balamban Police Station, said in an interview with SunStar Cebu that they conducted the operation based on the complaints from residents.

The residents said the basketball games had created noise in their area almost every day.

The players also played three-point shooting game where they and their spectators also placed a bet.

Taboada said the residents had already warned the players about the distraction that they caused in the neighborhood but their pleas fell to deaf ears.

On Tuesday, September 6, Taboada said they decided to hold the operation after receiving a call from concerned citizens that a three-point shooting game was going on in the area.

Among those arrested were Rociller Labrador, Philip Nacion, Rejimar Aresgado, Randolf Cumad and Michael Heruela.

Police also seized from the scene the basketball and P290 bet money.

"Saba kaayo ni sila didto dili naman ni lingaw-lingaw ilaha kay maabot nag linibu ang pusta, gambling na gyud ni," Taboada said.

(They are very noisy there. This cannot be considered a pastime as it already involved bet amounting to thousands, this is gambling indeed.)

Some wives had also complained that they could not anymore buy rice because their husbands lost their money to gambling, Taboada said.

"Okay ra man unta kun magduwa'g basketball apan dunay panahon nga magka-initay kay dagko na kaayog pusta," he added.

(It's okay to play basketball, but there are times that they lost their cool due to the large amount of bet money.)

Taboada said those who participated in the three-point shooting were mostly shooters.

Taboada said any activity can be considered gambling if it involves money, regardless of the amount.

The suspects will be facing charges for violation of Presidential Decree 1602 or Illegal Gambling Law.

A bail of P30,000 for each of them has been granted by the court for their temporary liberty.

Taboada said it is the court that will decide whether or not to lower the amount.

Lieutenant Colonel Glenn Hife, chief of Balamban Police Station, said in an interview with SunStar Cebu that they received information that the bet money placed for the shooting game would reach up to P2,000.

"Naay mopusta sa maka-shot tag 2k. Mopusta pud sila linibo sa dili makashat. Rampant kaayo ilang sugal," said Hife.

(There were some who placed P2,000 bet for every shot made, while others placed thousands for every missed shot. The gambling is rampant.)

Hife said they are now strengthening their campaign against illegal gambling in their area of jurisdiction. (GPL, TPT)