Baguio City policemen are on a hot trail against smalltime gambling joints but have been tolerating big-time illegal
mini-casinos proliferating for years. Monday last week (February 5, 2024), three alleged “tong-its” card-game
afficionados were hauled to the Baguio City police station 2 by composite station policemen and police intelligence
operatives after they were caught along at a house along Ferguson Road, Andres Bonifacio Barangay.

A concerned citizen, claimed the Baguio City police office, complained to policemen about the on-going gambling, prompting intelligence operatives to validate the turned-in information. Upon confirmation, added the Baguio City police office, operatives from different police units raided the house and caught the suspects in the act of playing “tong-its” and seized a complete set of cards, bet money, a wooden table where the card-game is played, chairs,
a red basin and a white cup.

On that same day, at around 4:55 PM along Claridad Road at Lower Magsaysay barangay, operatives of Baguio City police station 7 with barangay New Lucban officials caught three women and a man also playing “tong-its” and seized a set of playing cards, bet money, monoblock chairs, a table cloth and a small plastic container. Though authorities including barangay officials and public order and safety executives of the Baguio City Mayor’s Office seemed have turned a blind eye on minicasinos operating for long in various barangays across the Central Business District area.

Earlier, these gambling joints were pinpointed by Sagip partylist lawmaker Dante Marcoleta as reportedly
operating under the nose of Mayor Magalong, whose “good governance” campaign had included illegal gambling
operations eroding police and government official’s credibility before the public.

Artemio A. Dumlao/ABN

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