No case vs. 15 in “tupada” raid
posted 6-May-2019  ·  
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Fifteen persons in San Andres apprehended in a raid on illegal cockfighting last Good Friday have been released from police custody after the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the complaint for lack of evidence.

It may be recalled that on April 19, 2019, elements of San Andres police station led by deputy police chief Lt. Roderick Bino swooped down on the “tupada” then  being held at sitio Calumagon in barangay San Isidro and collared Michael Sabido, Jesus Potes, Jesus Magno, Rener Robles, Jerry Clopino, Jerome Clopino, Arlene Vallespin, Jodel Suplig, Silvestre Clopino, Jexon Baynosa, Rex Gianan, Rafael Samonte, Roland Samonte, Rodulfo Gurrobat, and Greg Vargas.

Also seized as evidence were 17 dead fighting cocks, three (3) live fighting cocks, eight (8) metal spurs or "tari", eight (8) rolls of adhesive tape, six (6) pcs small bundles of string, a sling bag, a roll of black electrical tape, and cash amounting to P4,311.00 in different denominations.

Subsequently, a case for violation of Presidential Decree 449 or the Cockfighting Law, as amended by PD 1602, was filed by the police.

However, inquest prosecutor Carlo Valeza ruled that the police failed to present sufficient evidence to establish the existence of probable cause for violation of the decree.

He stated that while it may be true that the respondents were caught within an area where the alleged cockfight took place, there was no testimony regarding the participation in any kind of gambling in the premises during cockfights.

“There is nothing in the complaint of in the attached affidavits which states that the respondents were caught while running away from the place while the others were caught after being trapped inside a house located beside the place where fighting cocks and gaffs were confiscated by the police,” he stressed.

While it is true that money was confiscated from the respondents, he added, there is no proof that the money was used as bets in the alleged illegal cockfight.

“PD 449 does not punish a person attending as spectator in a cockfight and he must be a bettor to be liable,” he pointed out. “Indeed, the respondents could have been mere spectators during the alleged cockfight.”

The police is set to re-file the case through regular filing.

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