Yay or Nay: NCR Police Bans Card Games During Wakes

In a bid to prevent saklaan.

(SPOT.ph) It's a familiar sight to anyone in Metro Manila and beyond: Garages and roadsides turned into temporary funeral parlors. Mourners are usually gathered around tables playing cards and sharing snacks and drinks—almost making you wonder if it is even a wake at all. But that might soon be a thing of the past, as the National Capital Region Police Office has banned gambling in all forms during wakes, as of Monday, February 10.

"The directive against gambling includes wakes. Just because there is [a] dead [person] there does not mean that you [can] set up a large  'saklaan,'" said Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas, National Capital Region Police Office director, in a report by the Manila Bulletin. Saklaan is the catch-all phrase used to refer to games played for money. 

These games have long been a part of local culture, and previous attempts to stop it have failed due to it being one way for poor relatives make enough money to cover the cost of a burial. "Ang guidance ko, pakiusapan muna. Pagkatapos, kung ayaw, atsaka i-raid para hindi nila masabi na wala kaming konsiderasyon," Sinas was quoted as saying in an Inquirer report. Police will also have to coordinate with local government units first, with a raid as last resort.

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This ban is part of the Philippine National Police's "one-strike policy." Under this, any police chief or station head found failing to act against illegal gambling will immediately be relieved from their posts. In line with this, the NCRPO is also looking at banning cockfighting in fiestas

Main image from Jack Hamilton/Unsplash.

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