MANILA, Philippines — Filipino billiards icon Efren “Bata” Reyes and a few others were apprehended by the police for playing unsanctioned pool games in San Pedro City, Laguna last Thursday.
The 66-year-old Reyes, arguably the most loved Filipino athlete today, was in the middle of an exhibition game when armed police officers raided the playing venue in Barangay San Vicente.
A police official who spoke on condition of anonimity said Reyes, a resident of Pampanga, was invited to play an exhibition game in Laguna.
However, the activity was not sanctioned by local officials because of the quarantine restrictions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Barangay officials from the area reported to the local police,” the source said in a text message.
A video of the raid showed Reyes sitting on a chair wearing a face mask.
“Ganyan pa ang gusto niyo mangyari. Hindi kayo nakikinig sa barangay,” a police officer was overhead as saying during the raid.
Reyes, who maintained silence during the incident, followed police officers to the barangay hall. Spectators were also taken into custody .
The police official said no charges were filed against Reyes. But he was warned against staging similar activities.
Last January, Reyes was in the news after word spread on social media that he passed away.
Reyes laughed it off, saying it’s not the first time he had heard news of his own passing.