New ABC chair vows to stop illegal gambling in Oro

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Friday, December 20, 2013

NEWLY-elected president of Cagayan de Oro City’s Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) barangay 40 chairperson Yan Lam Lim vowed to stop illegal gambling the best he could.

Illegal gambling operations have been rampant in the city. These operations include illegal lotto outlets, ‘suertres,’ tolelong’ or coin-operated machines, among others.

Several radio commentators who actively campaigned against the illegal gambling had been threatened and almost killed in an attempt to silence them forever. One is Nilo Labares also known as ‘Babayeng bagol’ who bravely fought against it. He survived the attempt but lost his one kidney.

Lim’s statement came in response to accusations that he is allegedly a “gambling lord,” amid his call for unity with his detractors.

“Election (has) passed and that the unity among the leaders only matters,” he said.

But Lim did not directly admit nor deny the allegations.

Instead, he emphasized on unity as his campaign after being elected as the new ABC president. He only desires to serve the people in Cagayan de Oro, “nothing more, nothing less.”

In a radio interview Thursday, Mayor Oscar Moreno expressed his disappointment over Lim’s election. Lim’s victory ensures him a seat in the city council as an ex-officio member.

Lim will be representing the 80 village chairpersons in the city council after winning his bid as president of the ABC in a closed-door election at a hotel on Wednesday.

“Respetohan na lang. Apan mao lagi natingala kita, first time kini nga adunay gambling lord mahimong opisyal (We will just respect it. But we are wondering, because it is the first time that we have a gambling lord who has become a city official),” Moreno said.

“Padayon na lang ta to sustain kung unsa ang atong nasugdan nga mga reforms “in spite of this obstacle” (Let us continue to sustain whatever reforms we have started ‘in spite of this obstacle),’” he added.

Moreno said the barangay chairs have spoken, “manghinaut lang kita sa moral ascendancy (sa ABC) (We can only hope for moral ascendancy at the ABC).”

He even challenged Lim to heed the calls to put an end to the illegal gambling operations in the city.

“I’m happy nga anaa na siya diha (city council). I just hope maundang na ang illegal gambling… if that is the way para maundang so be it. Awkward baya gihapon,” Moreno said.

Gambling prevalent

The mayor admitted illegal gambling in the city is prevalent.

“Dili tiaw ang illegal gambling tanang klase na. Let’s just pray that it would be his (Lim) great performance. I would salute him kung mahimo niya kana,” Moreno said.

Moreno also criticized councilor Ramon Tabor, for supporting Lim despite the latter being an alleged “gambling lord.”

Tabor, chairman of the city council’s police, fire and public safety, has welcomed Lim’s win saying the latter deserves the post.

“Illegal gambling activities is one of his (Tabor’s) watch under his committee of the peace and order,” Moreno emphasized.

But Tabor said Lim was allegedly into illegal gambling years back.

“But not until he became a public servant,” Tabor said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on December 20, 2013.

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