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SAN JOSE, Antique – Police arrested four minors suspected of stealing belongings of delegates to the 60th Palarong Pambansa.
The thievery at the billeting quarters of Western Visayan athletes in Antique National School was the first security-related incident in the national sporting event the province is hosting for the first time.
Aged 16 to 17 years old, the suspects were initially taken into custody by the Women and Children Protection Desk of the San Jose police station.
They were later turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Palaro organizers and delegates commended the police for their quick response.
Atty. Arthur Lastimoso, head of the Antique Palarong Pambansa Organizing Committee, said they “aim to have a peaceful and crime-free” Palaro.
“Within the same day, the perpetrators were identified and all [the stolen] items were recovered,” Lastimoso said.
“This is our commitment, and we shall continue to do these things for the success of Palarong Pambansa 2017,” he added.
Around 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, police received a report that some Western Visayan athletes lost their personal effects.
The suspects entered the billeting area during the wee hours when everyone was still asleep. They may have jumped over the fence at the back of the school, investigators said.
Among the stolen items were pairs of shoes and sports apparel. They cost an estimated P30,000, said the police.
The suspects were caught in different areas of San Jose, said Senior Inspector Bryan Alamo, information officer of the Antique Police Provincial Office.
All the stolen items were returned to the owners.
“The incident may have put our security preparations to test, but our investigation and intelligence capabilities have been proven (effective),” said Superintendent Norby Escobar, municipal police chief.
FRESH FISH, RICE
In another development, aside from two roasted pigs (lechon) to welcome the delegates, the provincial government will provide fresh fish and rice starting April 23, the opening day of the weeklong Palaro.
Two containers with about 70 kilos of fish each will be given for free daily until the 29th.
Despite being a poor province, Antique is giving its best in welcoming the delegates, Gov. Rhodora J. Cadiao said on Thursday. “Fish and rice are part of the Antiqueño hospitality.”
A total of 300 sacks of rice were allocated for the consumption of all Palaro delegates.
Each of the 18 participating regions could receive 15 to 20 sacks, depending on the size of their delegation. (With a report from the Philippine News Agency/PN)