THE Philippine National Police-Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (PNP-IMEG) said operators of video karera machines are likely to be involved also in the illegal drugs trade.
Colonel Ronald Lee, PNP-IMEG director, said on Tuesday, February 18, that the two illegal activities are connected.
"Napatunayan na namin sa mga previous operations na ‘yung video karera ay katabi mismo ng mga bentahan ng illegal na droga," Lee said in a press conference in Camp Crame.
He said they also found that majority of the players of the said illegal game were also using illegal drugs.
He made the statement during the destruction of 56 video karera machines which they seized in the conduct of police operations in “depressed areas” in Pasay, Muntinlupa and Caloocan over the past weeks.
Lee said they conducted the said operations in accordance with the intensified campaign of the PNP against illegal gambling but noted that it is still part of their main duty which is to go after erring cops.
He said the police commanders where they seized the machines were relieved as the continuous operation of video karera indicates their failure to address illegal gambling in their jurisdiction.
PNP Deputy for Operations Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar said the seizure of the machines showed that the PNP is now serious in its campaign against illegal gambling.
"It will give strong signal and clear signal that we are really serious in this activity," Eleazar said.
He warned police commanders of the one strike policy and that sanctions would now be tougher if they don’t take action against illegal gambling.
Eleazar said he would meet with concerned directors to discuss the research and in-depth study on the illegal gambling operations in the country.
"Titingnan din natin kung paano nakakalusot yung illegal gambling operations," he said.
Last week, three city police chiefs and seven unit commanders in Metro Manila were relieved over illegal gambling.
"Yung pagkaka-relieve nung mga iba't ibang commanders in the ground will have a clear message and impact sa ating mga unit commanders," Eleazar added.
The PNP is expecting that unit commanders would react to eradicate illegal gambling on the said sanction on their colleagues, Eleazar said.
"Talagang dapat sagasaan lahat, I believe that everybody will react on this guidelines of the chief PNP," he said.
In Metro Manila, 501 gambling paraphernalia and 33 gambling machines were confiscated, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Brigadier General Debold Sinas said in a press briefing.
Through Synchronized Enhanced Managing of Police Operations (SEMPO) from February 14 to 16, a total of P99,326 bet money was also seized. (SunStar Philippines)