Marañon assails illegal gambling

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Monday, April 7, 2014


NEGROS Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. said he wants the province to be free of illegal gambling as he lauded the assistance received by local government units that host the operations of government-regulated small town lottery or STL.

"We only support legal numbers games," the governor said during the turnover of medical equipment donated by Super Lucky Beaglers Inc. (SLBI), operator of STL in the province, to Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City.

The P2.5-million donation is part of the corporate social responsibility programs of SLBI for 2014.

Marañon signed the deed of donation for the Provincial Government while Director Dino Jalandoni signed for SLBI.

The medical equipment included operating table with complete accessories and kidney rest, suction machine, wheelchairs, obstetrics delivery and operating table, and anesthesia machine.

When the governor started his second term last year, one of his directives to the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office is to curb illegal gambling operations in the province.

Marañon said that some LGUs in the province especially Silay, where STL is being drawn, has availed huge assistance for their scholarship and health programs from their share from STL operations.

The STL operations are regulated by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

Meanwhile, Ferdinand Rojas II, general manager of PCSO, said that Bingo Milyonaryo in the province is just on its first year of test run.

During the one-year period, they will be evaluating its operations and the operator should comply with all the rules and meet the target they set with the PCSO.

The authorized operator of Bingo Milyonaryo in Negros Occidental is only Comnet.

“So we will determine who are those pretending to be our authorized operator,” Rojas said.

He added that if the operator fails to meet the target and there will be violation, it may not be able to secure a long-term contract with the PCSO.

“As of the moment, we have received reports about certain arrests and if some reports on violations are valid, it could be a very serious violation," Rojas said.

He also confirmed they have received reports that the Bingo Milyonaryo game is being used for illegal numbers games, adding that they are collating all the reports for submission to the PCSO main office.

"We are verifying all these reports. The LGUs have the police power to arrest those involved in illegal activities. The operator has to do everything legally. The operator should coordinate with the LGU," Rojas added.

Moreover, Rojas said the PCSO is eyeing a long-term contract with the operators of the STL all over the country, including Negros Occidental.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on April 07, 2014.

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