Cebu's ‘masiao boss’ caught again-A A +A
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
CEBU CITY -- A suspected big-time masiao financier in this city and 10 others, including a dismissed policeman, were arrested by the police in Barangay Pasil before Monday midnight, in an attempt to stamp out the illegal numbers game.
Seized from Randy Boliboli’s houses were P150,000 worth of gambling machines and paraphernalia when the Central Visayas Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG) of the Police Regional Office (PRO) raided his properties.
A search warrant issued by Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 14 Judge Raphael Yrastorza Jr. against Boliboli and his son Richie authorized the operation.
Superintendent Rex Derilo, head of the RSOG, said the operatives first raided the house of Boliboli on F. Rallos St. and arrested 10 workers, who were caught making adjustments on the bets.
They were identified as Jose Fernandez, 49; Butchie Lendio, 46; Rush Cabaltera, 28; Richard Garcia, 37; Reynaldo Santos, 49; Edward Abejo, 42; Joseph Dahuya, 25; Renadel Calinawan, 38; Betty Saavedra, 53; and Senior Police Officer 1 (SPO1) Angel Saavedra, 50.
Son at large
They are residents of Barangays Pasil, Suba and Labangon.
Three fax machines, four calculators, staplers, ballpens and sheets were recovered by police inside the house.
The operatives then proceeded to Boliboli’s house on Espelita St., where they caught the alleged financier.
Another set of gambling paraphernalia, P12,000 cash, a .22 revolver with two live bullets, two live bullets for a shotgun and an undetermined firearm were also recovered by police.
The operatives went to Richie’s house on Tupaz St., but he was not around.
Senior Supt. Edward Carranza, chief of PRO’s directorial staff, said that Boliboli surrendered to the police this year during the time of Chief Supt. Marcelo Garbo Jr. and promised to stop operating masiao.
This came after Boliboli’s house was raided by the police last December 2012, when they arrested 32 people who allegedly worked for him.
“There was intense pressure at that time maybe for him because the police were running after him. However, apparently, he broke his promise,” Carranza said.
During the press briefing, he revealed that Boliboli’s name always appeared in the order of battle, a list of personalities who are believed to be involved in illegal activities.
The alleged gambling financier reportedly earns P200,000 per day, but this has lowered to P100,000 because of many police operations.
Boliboli allegedly operates in all areas in this city and some towns in Cebu province and Negros Oriental.
Though the alleged gambling financier was arrested, Carranza said the illegal numbers game will not stop because there are also other financiers still operating.
“That’s why we’re asking for the support of local chief executives and even the lowest form of government to not tolerate this and report to the police immediately,” he said.
Police received reports some barangay officials are allowing this illegal activity in their area, as a way to ask for support for their political plans.
No longer PNP
As to the case of SPO1 Angel Saavedra, Carranza said the policeman had been dropped from the rolls for going absent without official leave (AWOL).
“He is not anymore under the PNP,” he said.
Saavedra, in an interview, said he grew tired of reporting to work last year after he was investigated for his absences. He was assigned in Cebu City.
“Gikapoy ko sige ug sulod (I grew tired of showing up for work there),” he said, adding he used to report to the Regional Police Holding Administrative Unit (RPHAU).
Confiscated from Saavedra was a .45 pistol.
Boliboli, when sought for comment, said he admitted being involved in illegal numbers game, but has since stopped.
“Taud-taud na ko niundang. Pagka-February (I have stopped operating since February),” he said.
Boliboli said he knew of the other financiers, but refused to divulge their names. He sought police assistance last March after his house was strafed by an unknown person.
Police filed complaints for violating Republic Act 9287, which increased the penalties for illegal numbers games.
Under this law, any person who participates in any illegal numbers game shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment from 14 years and one day to 16 years, if such person acts as a financier.
Imprisonment from six years and one day to eight years will be imposed if the person works for an illegal numbers game operation.
Separate complaints for illegal possession of firearms and violating the election gun ban will be filed against Boliboli and Saavedra.
Under a Commission on Elections resolution, violation of the ban on carrying firearms and employing security personnel will be fined with one to six years imprisonment, permanent disqualification to hold public office, and deprivation of the right to vote.
According to a report from the PRO, the number of financiers and operators in Central Visayas region has dropped as a result of the intensified drive against the illegal numbers game and illegal video game machines.
Most of the towns and barangays in the region, though, are not yet gambling-free.
As of March this year, the same report said the number of active financiers dropped from 120 to 108, while the number of operators and ushers or coordinators dropped by 372 to 313.
In Bohol, the number of affected areas dropped from 34 to 20.
The report also showed that all the towns in Negros Oriental are affected by illegal gambling.
In Siquijor, illegal gambling affected only one area.
In Cebu, illegal gambling was said to be present in all towns, but the number of financiers reportedly went down from 74 to 68.
In Metro Cebu, the report said, the police have cleared five barangays in Mandaue City of illegal gambling, but 22 of its barangays are still affected. In Lapu-Lapu City, illegal gambling is present in only seven barangays, while 24 barangays are gambling-free.
In Cebu City, 62 barangays have reportedly been cleared of illegal gambling, but 18 are still being operated by financiers.
Most of the affected areas are in coastal barangays, particularly depressed areas. (Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 01, 2013.