Campaign set vs illegal lotto outlets-A A +A
Thursday, September 20, 2012
THE Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) has been ordered to crack down all illegal lotto outlets in the city following reports that some of these outlets are being run by police officials.
On Wednesday, City Councilor Ian Mark Nacaya, chair of the city council committee on police, ordered all police station commanders to close down any reported outlet operating without certifications from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
Nacaya spearheaded a meeting on Wednesday with all station commanders, the Games and Amusement Board and Mario Pelisco, chief of lottery operations of PCSO, where the issue on police officers allegedly collecting “protection money” from illegal lotto outlets was discussed.
During the meeting, Nacaya requested PCSO to submit a list of all authorized lotto outlets in the city.
“The committee supports the call of PCSO in its fight against these illegal outlets and we enjoined all police station commanders to carry out the order of arresting and filing appropriate charges to those who will be apprehended,” he said in a phone interview.
Nacaya added he will be expecting results of the order during the next committee meeting on Wednesday.
“If proven that the station commanders are not doing what has been ordered, I will recommend for reshuffling or removal from their stations,” Nacaya said.
Police Superintendent Salvador Radam, station commander of Carmen Police Station, said they have already been ordered by Police Regional Director Gil J. Hitosis to swoop down on these illegal lotto outlets even before the meeting.
“Last September 14, if I’m not mistaken, we received the order of RD (Hitosis). In fact, last July 19, the Carmen Police Station was able to close an illegal lotto outlet and filed charges against the operator,” Radam told Sun.Star.
Pelisco said they would leave this to authorities since the PCSO doesn’t have police powers to run after illegally-run lotto outlets.
“Police matter naman gud na so bahala na ang polis pagdakop ug pagpasira sa mga illegal lotto outlet,” he said in an interview over RMN-dxCC.
He said police would easily identify illegal lotto outlets since these don’t have PCSO certification, unlike the legal ones.
Pelisco claimed that over P142 million or 10 percent of the total PCSO revenue were lost in 2011 due to the continuous operations of illegal lotto outlets in Cagayan de Oro and other neighboring provinces.
He said since 2010, he has already been complaining about the existence of illegal lotto outlets, particularly in Cagayan de Oro, which he said is growing.
“More than 20 illegal outlets, strategically located in different areas in the city, are freely doing their business. And the mere existence of it is a serious crime committed against the state under Republic Act 9287. I don’t know if they have their own business permits. But I guess, there’s none,” Pelisco said.
He said he even won’t consider these to be called “lotto outlets” since these do not sell complete PCSO products.
A total of 265 authorized lotto outlets are reportedly operating in Northern Mindanao, 105 of which are located in Cagayan de Oro, 62 in Bukidnon and the rest are distributed in Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Iligan and Lanao del Norte.
Pelisco said Northern Mindanao ranked second highest seller in Visayas and Mindanao with the bulk of sales coming from Cagayan de Oro.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 21, 2012.