Four people were arrested by police personnel in Rizal town in Southern Palawan while they were playing tong-its, a popular rummy card game, just before midnight on Saturday in Barangay Punta Baja.

Rizal Municipal Police Station (MPS) chief Maj. Thirz Starky Timbancaya said Ricky Florez Delacruz, 44; Edralyn Regenzia Repuno, 62; Joseph Belangue Serano, 48; and Roberto Besalez Eleuterio, 66, will face charges for violating Presidential Decree No. 1602, which prescribes stiffer penalties on illegal gambling.

He claimed that they were caught while playing tong-its in a place that the locals refer to as “Las Bigas,” apparently derived from the U.S. gambling capital Las Vegas.

“Bantog itong lugar na ito na pasugalan talaga, tinatawag nga nila itong Las Bigas kasi ang mga tao dito sobrang hirap na sa buhay, kahit pambili na lang nila ng bigas isusugal pa ng tong-its, Lucky 9, at saka iba pang laro sa baraha,” Timbancaya said.

Confiscated from them were P1,675 cash and the playing cards.


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covers the police beat and other law enforcement agencies in the province. Her interest includes traveling and photography.