Valley to intensify fight vs illegal gambling

LA TRINIDAD Municipal Police Office chief PSI Radino Belly is ordering a stop in illegal gambling in the Valley.

Belly in a bid to eliminate illegal gambling said "If there are still illegal gambling activities which are happening in La Trinidad, I am telling them now to stop," Belly told Sun.Star Baguio.

The Valley top cop said the municipal police will be enforcing a strict implementation of the existing local ordinance where all forms of gambling is being prohibited.

Belly said illegal gambling operations will be properly dealt with even with the PNP is still focused on its six months war against illegal drugs.

"The illegal-drug war is the main focus for the first months of the new administration. Other criminal activities such as gambling is happening and we will not tolerate it and we will act on it immediately," added Belly.

Earlier, La Trinidad mayor Romeo Salda is keen on ridding the municipality's 16 barangays of gambling.

"We will be looking into that matter. Just recently we already had a talk with the local police chief of the problems that should be addressed so hopefully plans to stop them will be done" Salda said.

Salda said several barangays continue to apply for permits to conduct "bingo sa barangay" which are said to generate funds for local projects.

"There are these 'bingo sa barangay' which are applying for permit but our office is not the one in-charge of that. In our inquiry there is no money involved in this bingo, prizes given are specified as items in kind not with cash," Salda noted.

Meanwhile, Belly said surveillance for reported hotspots is continuously being conducted.

"Some instances these gambling happen inside residences that is why we cannot just raid or arrest unless orders are made," Belly said. "As we have also implied we do not tolerate gambling here, minsan lang talaga nalulusutan tayo pero as long as we have the sufficient evidence to conduct our operations we would immediately stop these kinds of activities."

Recently, intensified local police operations resulted to the arrest of five individuals caught while engaged in illegal cards game succeeded by the confiscation of five slot machines.

Betting games particularly "jueteng" is also on the police watch list.
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