10 Pampanga Policemen Being Investigated for Robbing Cockfighters

Ten policemen in Bacolor, Pampanga are being probed for robbery in a case filed against them by 10 cockfighters. From an initial report by the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Pampanga Tactical Operations Center said that the incident involved members of the Provincial Intelligence Unit (PIU) who arrested 10 cockfighters inside a compound of a man named Alberto Gopez in Barangay Duat, Bacolor, Pampanga.

According to the report, the supposed operations for the raid were not coordinated with the Bacolor police.

In a statement made by the complainants, they stated that 10 “male persons” entered the area and allegedly accosted them for “tupada” or illegal cockfighting. During the arrest, the 10 members of PIU allegedly took the victims’ money and other valuables amounting to more or less 379,700 PHP or 7,241 USD.

The Pampanga provincial police also filed an administrative case against the cops. One of the cops was a suspect in the death of a minor in Bacolor last year. Police Brig. Gen Matthew Baccay, director of Police Regional Office 3 released a statement that ordered the policemens’ “immediate relief and removal from the post.” Their firearms have also been recalled following their detention at the provincial camp.

Additionally, Baccay’s statement read, “In the course of the operation, the operatives made an inventory of bet money, which would have been part of the pieces of evidence. During the process, a certain Alberto Gopez, the owner of the compound and one of the accosted among the complainants, pleaded with the operatives not to pursue the formal complaint against them. The operatives released the complainants and left the place of the incident without returning the bet money.”

Gov. Dennis Pineda and Bacolor Mayor Diman Datu also requested the investigation. Pineda stated in a text message, “It was wrong that a tupada (illegal cockfighting) was planned and it was even more wrong to get money and valuables from the residents. I cannot allow scalawags in uniform to work in our province.”