MANILA, Philippines – Many basketball fans couldn't get tickets for the highly anticipated UAAP Season 81 Finals match between the Ateneo Blue Eagles and the UP Fighting Maroons.
But the Pasay City Police tried to make sure that no one would get them by illegal means as they arrested 9 scalpers around the Mall of Asia Arena before Game 1 of the best-of-three title series on Saturday, December 1.
Police arrested Alfredo Molina, Edgardo Lacap IV, Antonio Borja and Brgy. Tanod Rex Peral from Pasay City, Michael Dino from San Pedro, Laguna, Jhon Randell Guison and Billy Jon Alturas from Manila, Alex Vinas from Parañaque City and Alberto Manarang from Caloocan City.
"Most of the people who will attend the games are students. It's such a pity if students will have to pay 10 to 20 times the ticket value to watch, considering they live on measly allowances,” NCRPO Director PDIR Guillermo Eleazar said in a statement.
"We will arrest scalpers anywhere this series goes. We may even get the masterminds. So I am warning these opportunists – these syndicates – stop because we will get you."
The 9 were arrested for violating Pasay City Ordinance 192 or the Anti-Scalping Ordinance under the directive of Eleazar and the instructions of Southern Police District Director PSSUPT Eliseo Cruz.
“We will continue to crack down on these scalpers,” said Cruz. “Even our foreign embassy guests are looking for tickets and it's a shame that they can't get tickets because syndicates have cornered the tickets so they can sell at higher prices."
Pasay City Chief of Police PSSUPT Noel Flores also said that tickets should be “sold freely in the open market.”
Additional standing-room only tickets were released at the official MOA tIcket booth just minutes before Game 1 tipped off and also quickly sold out. – JR Isaga/Rappler.com