4 arrested as spider fights gain following as a form of gambling
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—It wasn’t the spiders. It was the gambling.
Police arrested four men placing bets on spider combat at a village in Valencia City, Bukidnon province on Sunday, Oct. 6.
Lt. Col. Surki Serenas, Valencia police chief, said Lawrence Tumlos, Godofredo Cepeda, Mario Das-ao and Beleanio Netesa Jr., all residents of Valencia, were arrested in the middle of a “spider derby.”
Seized were match boxes containing 32 live spiders, a spider combat arena and bets amounting to P300.
Serenas said those arrested were not the top honchos of the illegal gambling scheme. Someone from Davao City had organized the derby but escaped during the raid.
The derby started a day before the police operation.
Police had received reports spider combat had replaced cockfights as a form of gambling in some areas because of the increasing costs of holding cockfights.
Serenas said police were alarmed at the presence of children in the spider derby.
“Gambling sets a bad example for children,” Serenas said. He said pitting spiders against each other was not illegal per se. Betting on this was, he added.
“If there is what we call ‘gateway drugs,’ there is also ‘gateway gambling vice.’,” Serenas said.
“These people encourages gambling among kids particularly those kids who are fond of spiders,” he added.
Police will use the seized spiders as evidence against those arrested. The insects will be released back into the wild after they had been presented in court.
Serenas said those involved in spider derbies violated a presidential decree that bans illegal gambling.
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