Pampanga village watchmen tapped in fight vs online cockfighting, illegal drugs
MABALACAT CITY — Pampanga Gov. Dennis Pineda has tasked the 6,468 watchmen of the 505 villages in the province to help fight the resurgence of online cockfighting and illegal drugs in their respective localities.
“Online sabong (cockfighting) is prohibited. You can report anybody who operates betting stations in your villages to the police or you can arrest them,” a statement from the provincial government quoted Pineda as telling the watchmen during a gathering on Wednesday, December 14.
The 6,468 village watchmen attended a seminar on implementing protocols for safe communities and the campaign against illegal drugs at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in the City of San Fernando.
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Pineda tapped the Bantay Bayan volunteers amid verified reports of unauthorized online sabong operations in the City of San Fernando and other towns despite Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s cease-and-desist order on e-sabong operations in April upon the order of then-President Rodrigo Duterte.
It said Pineda also warned village watchmen against protecting operators of online sabong betting stations, adding that protectors would be charged administratively and criminally.
Pineda also told watchmen about their important roles in the fight against the proliferation of illegal drugs at the village level, given the current ratio of one policeman for every 1,600 citizens.
Citing data from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the governor said more than 100 of the 538 villages in Pampanga have yet to be cleared of illegal drugs.
Earlier, the provincial government said 404 villages in Pampanga have already been declared as drug-cleared communities by the Regional Oversight Committee on Barangay Drug Clearing.
READ: 6 more Pampanga villages declared drug-cleared
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