7 arrested for tigbakay in island brgy of Lipayran in Bantayan town
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Around 50 men were said to have gathered in an open area in Sitio Tabok in the island barangay of Lipayran in Bantayan town on Saturday afternoon, August 28, for tigbakay.
But only seven of them were arrested by policemen who happened to be visiting the island barangay for the conduct of their regular foot patrol.
The arrested individuals were identified as Raul Pepito Ponteras, 54; Isidro Necesario Salundaguit, 57; Jeffrey Casipong Pugoy, 34; Ricky Alolod Villafuente, 39; Eric Mancao Paglinawan, 36; Emelio Pabuaya Dela Pena (age undetermined); and Junrey Jamili Mabug-at Sr., 41.
Five of the seven are fisher folks, says Police Major Wendell Abellana, acting chief of the Bantayan Police Station.
Abellana said a concerned resident informed the visiting policemen of an ongoing tigbakay in their area.
While the conduct of tigbakay is illegal, this also violates health protocols imposed during the pandemic, he said.
Abellana said that when the police team arrived in Sitio Tabok at about 5 p.m., the bettors started to scamper to avoid arrest. The police only collared seven of them.
The conduct of police operations in the islet is very challenging because travel on a motor banca takes one to two hours, enough to warn bettors of their arrival, Abellana said.
When they travel to the islets, Abellana said, that he is only able to send a number of policeman because of their lack in manpower and resources.
Bantayan town that has a population of at least 80, 000 residents based on the 2015 census has at least five island barangays.
With their current population, one policeman will have to look after the welfare of 2, 800 to 3, 000 residents.
Abellana said they are also faced with the same concerns when operating in the town’s four other island barangays.
He is asking island barangay officials help them monitor the activities of their constituents, implement health protocols and to immediately report to the police crimes or anything that would require their assistance.
“Dako gyud siya nga challenge since we have island barangays man so we need the support of the barangay,” Abellan said.
(Having island barangays is a big challenge that is why we need the support of the barangay officials.)
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