Authorities arrested ten people, including four women who were caught gambling amid enhanced community quarantine in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija, only a few hours after the local government distributed P3,000 cash aid in the said city.
The suspects were nabbed after their neighbor reported the illegal gambling activity, said Col. Renato Morales, chief of Palayan City Police.
Those arrested include construction workers Angelo Diongco, Roldan Viado, and Daniel Onia; vendors Marilou Guerra and Gregorio Guerra; and student Garry Gatbunton.
Rogelio Gonzales, Tessa Sanchez, Theresa Onia, at Marites Guerra, 59 were also arrested.
In a social media post, Palayan City Mayor Adrianne Mae Cuevas expressed her disappointment because the arrested residents prioritized gambling over food using financial assistance from the government.
Palayan City in Nueva Ecija distributes P3k cash aid to residents
Nueva Ecija’s capital remains coronavirus disease (COVID-19) free. Still, its local officials already began house to house financial aid distribution worth P3,000 to each family staying at home amid the city-wide quarantine.
The city’s local inter-agency task force gave the cash aid on top of the food packs, chicken, vegetables, and milk it has earlier distributed so residents could survive the Luzon-wide lockdown, which was extended until April 30.
“The cash was not only for the poorest of the poor. We gave food packs and the cash aid to our middle class who have not worked for a month,” said city Mayor Adrianne Mae Cuevas.
Councilor Mader Sta. Maria said the officials made sure every house got the assistance. “This is separate from what target families expect to receive from the Social Amelioration Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD),” said Sta. Maria.
Mayor Cuevas also said that she is preparing financial assistance as well for all city health workers, police officers, soldiers, the staff of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office and barangay frontliners this April.
Mayor Cuevas said she believes that the cash assistance from the city government, together with the amelioration fund given by President Rodrigo Duterte, will help all her constituents get through the COVID-19 crisis.