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4 spider fight bettors nabbed in Bukidnon

October 08, 2019 - Tuesday 6:10 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image SPIDER BOY. A boy prepares his spider pet for battle in Barangay Chua, Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat. Spider fighting is a popular game among children in the area, especially during the summer break. KEITH BACONGCO / MINDANEWS

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- Four men are now facing anti-illegal gambling charges over spider fight betting in Valencia City, Bukidnon, police said Monday.

Lt. Col. Surki Sereñas, Valencia police chief, identified the individuals apprehended on Sunday as Lawrence Tumlos, Godofredo Cepeda, Mario Das-ao, and Beleanio Netesa Jr., all residents of that city.

Confiscated from them were small boxes containing 32 live spiders, an improvised spider fighting arena composed of a stick with a stand and platform, and bet money amounting to P300.

Sereñas said the suspects were engaged in a “spider derby”, where enthusiasts place bets on fighting spiders.

The police official said the man managed to escape when a team of police officers raided the derby at Purok 2, Barangay Poblacion.

“He might have surreptitiously blended with the crowd to elude arrest,” he added.

SPIDER FIGHT. The pieces of evidence confiscated by the police following a raid on a spider derby in Barangay Poblacion, Valencia City in Bukidnon. Police maintained that placing bets on any game is a form of illegal gambling and punishable by law. VALENCIA CITY POLICE

The derby started on Saturday, Sereñas said, adding that spider fighting has become commonplace in the city as bettors look for cheaper alternatives to cockfighting.

But what alarmed the police, Sereñas said, was that children were among those who watched the derby.

“Gambling sets a bad example for children,” he said, adding that spider fighting as a pastime is not unlawful, and it only becomes illegal if it involves placing bets.
He said the spiders, which were confiscated, are now in the custody of the police to be used as evidence in court. After being presented in court, he said the spiders will be released into the wild.

“[The suspects] will be facing criminal charges for violation of Presidential Decree 1602, the law that provides penalties for illegal gambling activities signed into law by then-President Ferdinand Marcos in 1978,” Sereñas said. PNA