Residents decry arrest of people gambling inside homes

Published April 26, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Chito Chavez

Disgruntled residents on Sunday lashed out at some police officers claiming that the latter went beyond their authority.

The policemen allegedly apprehended people leisurely playing card games inside their homes (ECQ).

They claimed the police barged in their residence, collared and hauled them to the police station with the playing cards and bet money of P180 being taken as evidence.

“Nakakahiya maaresto. Sobra naman sila. Kahit noong Martial Law walang ganito. Sumusunod kami sa ECQ at nasa bahay kami tapos huhulihin kami dahil sa paglalaro ng baraha na larong pampamilya lang para lang wag kami maburyong (It is very humiliating to get arrested. They are overdoing things. Even during the martial law years this was not done. We are following ECQ protocols and stayed home and yet we get arrested for playing friendly card games to ease our anxiety),’’ a teary-eyed Arnel Reyes said.

Reyes said his brother-in-law and niece were also jailed for almost two weeks as they were unable to post bail with no prosecutor available to conduct the inquest proceedings.

After several days each posted P30,000 bail for their temporary liberty and are now facing charges for quarantine violations.

A depressed Reyes felt helpless feeling their rights were violated after being treated like hardened criminals.

What felt more depressing according to Reyes was that his seven-year-old daughter was in total shock when the armed police officers arrested them.

“Ganito na ba ngayon? Maski nasa loob ka ng bahay at naglilibang basta nagustuhan ng police pwede kang arestuhin (Is life like this now? Even if you are at home the police can arrest you anytime just for relaxing),’’ he asked.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered the police and military especially those manning the checkpoints to strictly enforce ECQ regulations to fight novel coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19).

When asked Lt. General Guillermo Eleazar head of the Joint COVID-19 Task Force Shield explained that it is still wrong to gamble even when inside the residence.

Even disagreeing with the said rule, Reyes noted if he had known, they should have thrown their playing cards and just watched television.
In a related development, Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Director Brig. Gen. Ronnie Montejo was asked to make similar arrests of barangay officials gambling even inside the barangay halls during the ECQ even with barangay tanods and police officers nearby.

A video was taken where the three incumbent barangay officials were seen playing card games with a barangay personnel.

However, the one who took the video claimed the three are friends of DILG Undersecretary Martin Dino and feared being pinpointed for being the source of the information.