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3 SAP beneficiaries face case for gambling

Three female beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) were arrested for alleged gambling in Purok Aquarius, Barangay Alejandra Navarro (Lasang) on Tuesday.

They were identified as Jean Retubado, 29, single, Judith Deque, 40, married, and Ruth Ohaylan, 32, all residents of the place.

Maj. Noel Villahermosa, the commander of the Bunawan Police Station, said the suspects were arrested at the house of Ohaylan.

Police officers caught them playing cards, locally known as tong-its, despite the state of public health emergency declared by President Duterte due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recovered from their possession were the playing cards and the bet money.

President Duterte signed Presidential Proclamation No. 929 on March 17, declaring a state of calamity throughout the Philippines due to pandemic, and Presidential Proclamation No. 922, putting the country under a state of public health emergency in relation to national security.

The SAP is a cash subsidy program to help 18 million poor Filipinos who are most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the region, SAP beneficiaries will get P12,000 divided equally for two months.

Beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pampamilyang Pangkabuhayan Program are automatically enrolled in the program. The DSWD XI listed 267,974 individuals in 4Ps.

This is not the first time that SAP beneficiaries were in hot water. Last month, Abdullah Ibrahim Ismail and Analie Yray Cornete were also arrested by the Bunawan police in a buy-bust operation in CAL 2 Village, Purok 4, Barangay Tibungco.

The two were arrested on the day they were supposed to receive their cash subsidy from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the police said.

The three suspects are now under the custody of the Bunawan police while a case for violation of PD 1602 and Sec. 9 of RA 11332 (social distancing) are being prepared against them.

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