Gambling raps filed vs village chief-A A +A
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
BAGUIO CITY -- The City Prosecutor's Office charged a village chief and several John Does for illegal gambling.
Malcolm Square barangay chairman William Domoguen is at a disadvantage after allegedly violating the Illegal Gambling Law.
Domoguen earlier filed complaints of illegal arrest, grave coercion, robbery and usurpation of authority against personnel of the Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) and a member of the Baguio City Police Office.
The complaints stemmed from a raid of a "Bingo sa Barangay" operation at Malcolm Square last year by a joint team from the POSD and Task Force Jupiter.
Gambling paraphernalia and P14,000 cash were confiscated and three people who were working with the bingo operation were arrested.
But the City Prosecutor's Office (CPO) in a resolution dated January 27, 2011, dismissed Domoguen's complaints.
None of the elements defining the commission of unlawful arrest, usurpation of authority, grave coercion and robbery was present, penned Associate Prosecution Attorney I Arlene Cacho.
"Since Domoguen filed a complaint for robbery, he is admitting that the items that were confiscated belong to him," the resolution said.
Domoguen, in conspiracy with several John Does, should be charged for violation of the Illegal Gambling Law, the resolution further said.
Cacho also said the task force has no intent to gain whatsoever because the confiscated paraphernalia were not meant to be used for themselves but will be used as court evidence.
In his complaint, Domoguen said the "Bingo sa Barangay" is a legitimate activity to raise funds for Malcolm Square.
But the gambling paraphernalia seized by the raiding team showed that it is jueteng, and not bingo, that is being operated in the barangay. There were no bingo cards and bingo players, the CPO said.
The CPO added there is probable cause to indict the village chief for violation of the Anti-Gambling Law. (Rimaliza Opiña)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 10, 2011.