Gamblers in Pampanga play for ‘shabu’
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — “Shabu” has remained in such high demand in this Pampanga capital that some drug users have been betting for a stash of crystal meth when they play “cara y cruz” (heads or tails).
Shabu was the stake when the police arrested seven men in a house that was being used as a gambling den in Northville 14 here around 1 a.m. on Sept. 21.
“This has been going on for a while, which is why our campaign against illegal drugs is conducted side by side with operations against illegal gambling,” said Senior Insp. Louie Sason, head of the city police’s Compac 3.
“Gambling has been used as a front for illegal drug trading so it’s not a surprise that drugs are also used for illegal gambling,” Sason said.
“They’re so desperate to get their hands on shabu,” he added.
He said getting shabu through illegal gambling was public knowledge in Northville 14, a resettlement community in the village of Calulut that was put up by the government for families who occupied the right of way of the old Philippine National Railways tracks.
Sexual services and household appliances have also been offered in these games in exchange for shabu, according to Supt. Levi Hope Basilio, San Fernando police chief.
The crackdown on illegal gambling in Northville 14 was part of a two-day drive that netted 20 suspects, including the seven men who gambled for shabu, said Senior Supt. Nicolas Salvador, Pampanga police director.
The den yielded 18 plastic sachets of shabu.
The suspects, with ages ranging from 22 to 44, were all residents of Northville 14.
Four men and a woman were also arrested in the same village after they yielded 13 sachets of shabu. —Tonette Orejas
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