STOP illegal gambling activities that are still rampant in Central Visayas.
This was the order of Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Brig. Gen. Valeriano de Leon to the chiefs of lower units, who now risk being removed from their posts if they fail to follow his directive.
The PRO 7 recently received a complaint from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) about the presence of illegal small town lottery (STL) operations.
The PCSO central office, through its general manager Royina Garma, sent de Leon a letter, telling him that the authorized STL operators suffered losses as they compete with illegal operators.
De Leon said he will evaluate the performance of the station commanders in the coming weeks.
“Those who are dismal in the campaign against illegal gambling must go and give others a chance to lead,” he said in an interview Monday, Dec. 16, 2019.
Matrix of illegal operators
De Leon said the PRO 7 has a matrix of legal and illegal STL operators in various barangays in Central Visayas.
Before the PCSO central office sent a letter to the PRO 7, it had received a complaint from Globaltech Peryahan ng Bayan, which disclosed that its stream of revenue slowed down due to illegal gambling operators that used its name.
The government is also losing income as illegal STL operators do not pay taxes, according to the PCSO.
De Leon told reporters that he is confident that none of his personnel are accepting bribes from illegal gambling operators.
A Globaltech representative told Superbalita that an illegal STL operator’s booth would pop up a few days after the company had set up its booth in a barangay.
Bettors often flocked to the illegal STL operator that carried Globaltech’s name as it offered higher prizes. The illegal gambling booths affected Globaltech’s income, forcing the company to complain about the situation.
Meanwhile, the PCSO Visayas released a statement appreciating the Cebu City Government’s support of its campaign against illegal numbers game.
The PCSO Visayas, however, clarified that it did not lead the recent anti-illegal gambling efforts. These, it said, were initiated by the City and the PRO 7-Regional Special Operations Group.
Last October, Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella urged the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) to investigate reports that some members of the CCPO advisory council were protecting illegal gambling operations in the city.
The mayor said he received intelligence reports from several quarters, including the Barangay Intelligence Network and the PCSO, that certain personalities are protecting the illegal gambling (swertres) operation in Cebu City. (AYB, RSR)