Police on Monday filed charges against three suspects, among them a barangay councilor, for allegedly organizing and taking bets on a heavily crowded "street boxing" match in Manila's Tondo district.
According to Emil Sumangil's report on 24 Oras, Barangay 182 Kagawad Arnel Saenz and his son Vincent faced charges for violating Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases COVID-19 health guidelines, and for illegal gambling and game-fixing.
Also charged was the barangay secretary's husband, identified as Lawrence Bindoy, who allegedly collected bets from the boxing matches.
According to Manila Police District Station 1 commander Police Lieutenant Colonel Paul Doles, it was not uncommon for locals to organize these street boxing matches during fiestas.
And while barangay officials and police attempted to pounce on the illegal gathering given that the match was a COVID-19 spreader event with no sign of social distancing and with no one wearing face masks and shields, everyone had fled the scene by the time they showed up.
Locals also denied any knowledge of a boxing match.
"Lahat po ng tao hindi alam, eh. Biglaan na may pagtitipon, tapos biglaang meron boxing. So ganoon, pre-planned na: magtatagpo sa isang lugar, kasado na lahat, tapos mag-boxing na.
"Para din po mahirapan ang kapulisan natin na suwayin sila."
GMA News had sought comment from the barangay kagawad and the other suspects, but none of them could be reached.
Police were also attempting to identify the fighters in the street matches, among them were a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old. — DVM, GMA News