AN OFFICIAL of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-Northern Mindanao reminded policemen about the standing order of the region's top cop to monitor illegal gambling activities after gaming schemes managed by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) were shut down.
PRO-Northern Mindanao spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Mardy Hortillosa II said there are possibilities that bettors of the PCSO games may resort to illegal gambling.
"Wala nato giwala ang possibility nga moresort sa illegal gambling ang mga tawo especially katong mahilig gyud sa sugal," Hortillosa said.
But Hortillosa said operations against all forms of illegal gambling will continue. He said those who are caught engaging in illegal gambling will be arrested and will face charges.
Hortillosa said they are monitoring illegal cockfighting, card games, "Mahjong," online gambling, and illegal video games, among others.
"Kung naay lain mga illegal gambling mo-prosper, dili na threat sa amo ug dili mi mag-worry kay continuous ang atong operation against illegal gambling, ug naa na standing order ang atong regional director nga ipamonitor gyud ang illegal gambling sukad pa sa iyang paglingkod," Hortillosa said.
The Northern Mindanao police closed down nearly 2,000 lotto outlets in the region over the weekend.
Hortillosa said policemen closed 1,386 Small Town Lottery (STL) outlets, 208 lotto outlets, and 306 Perya ng Bayan in Northern Mindanao, except Camiguin where PCSO gaming schemes do not exist.
The closure was the result of the 583 operations conducted in the region on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Emano agreed with the move of President Rodrigo Duterte to have PCSO gaming operations closed.
Emano said Duterte may have had good reasons why he opted to either suspend or close down all gaming schemes of PCSO.
"I think it was only right. I believe there is a good reason when the pPesident decided to close it down. Nagtuo ko iladlad ra na niya sa kahanginan labi na kay corruption ang gihisgutan," Emano said.
Emano said those who usually seek medical assistance from PCSO could either run to the Department of Social Welfare and Development and other agencies. (Alwen Saliring)