Most of 309 arrested bettors plead guilty of illegal gambling, sentenced, released
CEBU CITY, Philippines Majority of the 309 bettors arrested during August 3 raid of a cockpit in Mandaue City were released on Friday after they pleaded guilty of the illegal gambling charge in court.
Police Major Edwin Lacostales, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Central Visayas (CIDG-7) chief, said that the Regional Trial Court in Mandaue City sentenced them to three days in prison and to pay a fine of P1,500 each for their violation.
However, Lacostales said that the court did not let the bettors pay the P1,500 fine because their detention was five days or two more than the days of the jail sentence imposed on them.
“Yung judgement ni judge na serve naman nila ng limang araw so release na sila,” said Lacostales.
(The judge did not let them pay the fine because they had served five days which was two days more than the three-day jail sentence imposed by the court for their violation, and so they were released.)
Unfortunately for some of the arrested betters, Lacostales, said the Mandaue RTC was not able to finish hearing all their cases because of their number.
He said that he could not give the exact number of those, who were released, but he assured that it was a majority of the arrested bettors.
As for those arrested bettors, whose cases had not yet been heard in court, they will have to stay longer at the CIDG-7 office because the courts will only open on Tuesday, August 12.
The courts are closed on weekends and Monday, August 11, is Eidul Adha, a holiday in the country.
He also said that the 15 employees of the D and C cockpit, who were also arrested during the raid, pleaded not guilty and continued to be detained at the CIDG-7 office.
Lacostales said that the 15 employees would have to wait for the court to release their information setting their bail so that they could pay it for their temporary liberty.
Meanwhile, one of those arrested bettors, who was released, said he was happy that he could go home, but he was also sad because he got fired from his job as a collector of a motorcycle distributor company.
He said that he learned his lesson that he should not have agreed to go with his friends last Monday (August 3) to go to the cockfight at the Mandaue cockpit and he would not have been among those arrested.
When asked if he would still continue to gamble on cockfighting, he said he had learned his lesson, but he would not stop gambling because he enjoyed doing it.
“Mosugal gihapon ko pero naa nay kabag-ohan sa una nga halos matag adlaw karon dominggo nalang,” he said.
(I will still gamble, but this time he will do it not every day but only on Sundays.)/dbs
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