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Dateline Catanduanes

Politicians avail of any and all income-generating ventures that come together with ascendancy to power more so when election nears. They undermine the law with direct and indirect participation in illegal gambling, forest destruction, cyanide and dynamite fishing, drug deals and implementation of government projects with lion’s share from proceeds as contractors themselves.

Very lately, gambling enthusiasts from mainland Bicol found their way to the island province through a politician’s enterprising aide for provincewide operations of the illegal numbers game.

The politician’s lieutenant and the gambling operators met with select media group and agreed on concessions but the latter had to bear a long wait for the manna from illegal venture. Since then, the illegal last two digits number game flourished with grease money to media channeled to but filtered at the seat of political power in Catanduanes. On the other hand, from the time pandemic prevailed, illegal online ‘sabong’ is held daily in a former Virac mayor’s farmhouse in Barangay Palta Small.

Based on inside sources, barangay captains in the area of operations and neighboring communities, local politicians, government employees, police officers, cock breeders and cockfighting enthusiasts are of regular attendance with the former mayor orchestrating smooth operations of a clear infraction of the law.

The former mayor known for cock breeding since undetermined period ingratiated a ranking official of the Department of Interior and Local Government with a quality- bred fighting cock for permissive attitude to the illegal online sabong.

A ranking police officer receives a sack of rice every month in exchange for blind eyes and distorted hearing. With clear countenance of local leadership, an employee of the Virac municipal government is assigned to collect entrance fees and two (2) drivers from the same office act as errand boys to the online ‘sabong’ operator.

Meanwhile, in order to avoid getting left behind in gambling patronage, majority of Sanguniang Panlalawigan members have passed a resolution seeking normal operations of the Araojo Cockpit despite prohibition of mass gatherings amid virus pandemic. The legislative measure was authored by a board member of missing hair and distorted morale for and on behalf of a ranking member of the legistative council directly involved in maintenance of the cockpit operations who inhibited from deliberations.

A year ago, a former board member was sponsor to a cock derby and noted to have orchestrated control of the flow of tickets at the gate presumably in connivance with the management. Representatives from the Provincial Tresurer’s Office tasked to monitor the cock derby found out that entrance tickets were not torn and sold again for countless times with the provincial government suffering huge loss in local amusement taxes.

Manipulation of ticket sales is clear defiance of the law which should be investigated by members of the provincial legislative council, in aid of legislation, rather than spend a minute in passing a resolution meant to revive cockfighting operations and put to risk the public at a time a more dangerous Delta Covid-19 variant is ravaging Metro Manila and other regions without assurance Catanduanes is free as we experience increasing number of positive cases in the island.


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