‘SABUNGEROS’ are adding up to the problem of the Philippine National Police in containing the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus as many cockfight aficionados continue to engage in ‘tupadas’ despite the social distancing drive ordered by the government this month.
Over the past two weeks, members of the National Capital Region Police Office headed by Major General Debold M. Sinas have apprehended dozens of people engaged in ‘tupadas’ or illegal street cockfights in some parts of Metro Manila.
Seized from the suspects were game fowls, gaffes and bet money. The suspects, police said, continue to ignore the enhanced quarantine program just for the love of the game with many saying they are already bored staying in their homes over the past two weeks.
Around 5 p.m. last Sunday, police in Maramag, Bukidnon arrested three local residents while engaged in ‘tupada’ in Purok 2, Barangay San Roque.
Police Regional Office 10 director, Brigadier Gen. Rolando B. Anduyan said the suspects identified as Odon Paypa,42, Jose Bicra,54, and Antonio Binondo,56, were found engaged in illegal cockfighting locally known as ‘Tari-Tari’ in Sitio Sabacan in Bgy. Panadtalan.
Recovered during the operation were two live fighting cocks, one gaff and P90 worth of cash bets.
Maramag Municipal Police Station commander, Lieutenant Colonel Casan Ali said that Paypa and Fuentes, both farmers and Binondo, a laborer were just among the scores of men who were playing the game when police conducted the raid. However, the rest of the suspects managed to escape arrest.
Paypa is a resident of Purok 3 in Sitio Sabacan while Bicera is from Purok 12 in nearby Bgy. San Roque. Binondo on the other hand is from Purok 5 in Bgy. San Roque.
In Davao City, local health officials have expressed apprehension that two reported cock derbies in the city could lead to a spike in the number of COVID-19-afflicted local residents.
Reports said a multi-million pesos derby in the city early this month drew thousands of people from different parts of the country for six straight days. The six-cock derby was reportedly staged at the New Matina Gallery even though Mayor Sara Duterte has ordered the cancelation of all crowd-drawing events in the city to help prevent the spread of the highly-contagious virus.
Last March 22, Mayor Duterte urged all those who have been to the derby to go on a 14-day home quarantine.
The Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield (JTF CV Shield) earlier reconsidered its decision not to arrest and detain violators of the home quarantine rules amid the increasing number of curfew violators which has been placed to nearly 43,000 as of last Sunday, the commander of the task force, PNP Deputy Chief for Operations, Lieutenant General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said.