Councilor, cops, soldier run ‘fowl’ of cybercrime busters
A town councilor, two policemen and a soldier had no chance to fly the coop.
Birds of a feather, the four men were among 149 people rounded up in a restaurant by police operatives last Friday night while allegedly betting in livestream cockfights in Baliwag, Bulacan.
Policemen from the Counter-Intelligence Task Force (CITF) and the Anti-Cybercrime Group identified their arrested colleagues as PO3 Nolasco Bernardo Juan and PO1 Jestoni Fuentabella, and the soldier as Pfc. Enrique Quinaquin Jr.
Police withheld the identity of the councilor from Baliwag, who claimed to be a bettor and was said to be mad as a wet hen when the raid was announced.
Bernardo is assigned with the Central Luzon police headquarters in Camp Olivas, Pampanga, while Fuentabella reports to the Bulacan provincial Mobile Force Company.
Chief Insp. Jewel Nicanor, CITF spokesperson, said the raiders also nabbed a former policeman, Emmanuel Leonardo, who was dismissed from the service in 2011, and Enecito Dahan Payapa, the alleged owner of Globaliwag Restaurant, in the operation that started at 10 p.m.
Nicanor said they were checking whether the councilor was also the operator of the illegal cockfight operation, in which bettors wager on a cockfight streamed live from a cockpit and collectors gather bets from people in the restaurant.
The raid was conducted after a concerned resident complained that the restaurant had been transformed into a nest for illegal gambling.
Payapa admitted to investigators that he was live-streaming cockfights but denied collecting bets. He showed investigators a business permit for a “UFCC Meridien Vista Pay Per View” and an expired certification issued by North Cagayan Gaming and Amusement Corp.
He also claimed that while he charged entrance fees, he had nothing to do with betting activities in his establishment.
Nicanor said that the arrested policemen and the soldier were liable for allowing the illegal activity inside the restaurant.
The CITF has arrested 60 policemen for involvement in illegal activities since the unit was created in February last year. Chief Insp. Romeo Bulanadi, former police chief of Sasmuan, Pampanga, was the highest ranking officer among them.
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