No more gambling during wakes, NCR police say

Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

AS PART of the Philippine National Police (PNP) anti-illegal gambling campaign, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Debold Sinas said on Monday, February 10, that all forms of gambling are no longer allowed during wakes.

Sinas said he has discussed the implementation of this new policy with the local executives in Metro Manila.

“The directive against gambling includes wakes. Just because there is dead there does not mean that you could set up large saklaan there,” said Sinas in a press briefing on Monday.

Sakla is a popular card game which is similar to the Spanish tarot. It is a popular game during wakes to keep mourners awake in line with the Filipino tradition of looking after their departed loved ones.

It also serves as an income-generating activity for the family of the deceased to help pay for the burial expenses.

Other popular gambling activities during wakes are pusoy, tong-its and bingo. These are also prohibited, according to Sinas.

There have been attempts by barangay officials in the past to ban such gambling games during wakes. But the officials end up allowing gambling anyway.

This time, Sinas said, it would be strictly implemented.

He said bets and gambling paraphernalia would be confiscated in case of resistance. A police commander who fails to implement the directive may be relieved from his post.

The local police commanders will coordinate with the barangay officials to mediate with the families of the dead for the implementation of the directive.

“The purpose of this is to show that we do not disrespect the dead and the mourning. That is why our commanders have to talk to the parties involved first,” said Sinas.

The NCRPO has stepped up the operations against illegal gambling following persistent reports of policemen receiving payola from the operators.

Last week, 10 police officials and commanders were removed from their posts for failure to curb gambling activities in their areas of jurisdiction. (SunStar Philippines)