VOTES to end e–bingo failed to get a majority nod, making its operations legitimate with councilors Maylen Yaranon, Peter Fianza, Art Allad-iw and Elaine Sembrano moving to rescind the resolution allowing RCC Global to operate at the Maharlika Livelihood Center.
Abstaining from voting and overpowering the four who aimed to withdraw earlier approvals for the gaming site were councilors Benny Bomogao, Elmer Datuin, Lilia Farinas, Michael Lawana, Faustino Olowan and Edgar Avila.
The motion to end the operations of e–bingo in Maharlika was lost because of the vote results, making council approval permanent and blocking moves to rescind the same act in the future.
Councilor Leandro Yangot Jr. though present during the session decided to step out during the vote, shielding himself from action in the matter.
The abstentions stemmed from sentiments of aldermen the rescission lacked research and should have included all e-bingo establishments in the city without singling out the Maharlika operations to avoid allegations of favouring one proponent over the other.
Before the council voted, the matter was referred to the committee on laws chaired by Olowan for research and recommendation but on the final minutes of the session, decided to put the matter to a council vote.
Yaranon said since the motion is now lost, she hopes the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) will not allow the e-bingo operations to commence at Mahalika which is in contrast to their own provisions.
Under PAGCOR, a gaming site must comply with distance requirements which should not be less than 100 meters from schools, places of worship and markets.
The Maharlika e-bingo is near the United Church of Christ, the Baguio Patriotic School and the city public market.
During the December 12 regular session, the local council approved the operations of e-bingo in Maharlika but councilors Fianza and Yaranon abstained from voting while nine, except councilor Elaine Sembrano, who was absent, approved the matter without discussion, allowing e- bingo operation.
Sun*Star sources reveal P150,000 was given to some councilors to approve e-bingo operations as brokered by a colleague.
A resolution to end e-bingo and e-games in Marcos highway now pends in the council under the committee on laws, with aldermen reviving an old resolution penned by then Councilor and now Vice Mayor Edison Bilog for the gambling operations along the national road.