IN VIEW of the reported proliferation of jai alai operations in Bacolod City, a city legal officer said the illegal numbers game is not allowed by law to operate in the city as well as in the rest of the province.

City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan said it is only the Small Town Lottery of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, which is authorized to operate legally, Bayatan added.

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Numerous arrests of persons allegedly involved in jai alai have been reported. In fact, not a day seems to pass without the police arresting bet collectors of the illegal numbers game. However, those who fall into the hands of the police are simply the small fry; no arrest has yet been made against the bigtime operators who are financing jai alai.

The Bacolod City Government itself was not spared from the sinister shadows of jai alai operations, as text messages proliferate charging that a certain city employee coerces his subordinates to serve as jai alai bet collectors at the pain of losing their jobs.

The text messages were addressed to Bacolod City Mayor Evelio R. Leonardia.

The complainants alleged that they fear for their jobs if they refuse to give in to the threats. The employee who is the subject of the text messages is allegedly in charge of the job order employees in his particular department.

When asked about the matter, Secretary to the Mayor Rodel Parcon said that such text messages have no solid basis and that no official complaint on that account was received by the Office of the City Mayor.

He clarified even if the subject employee is in charge of the job order personnel in his department, it is still the mayor, acting on the recommendation of the department heads, who is the final authority in the hiring of the job order employees. (Carla N. Cañet)