STL still used as a “front” for illegal gambling PCSO

(Logo from PCSO's Facebook page)
(Logo from PCSO's Facebook page)

“Unscrupulous” individuals took advantage of being employed by the government-accredited firm to operate the Small Town Lottery and used STL results in their illegal gambling operations.

Worse, they are also using unauthorized bet collectors to collect bets, which they pocketed, according to initial investigations of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

In his issued affidavit, James Amparado disclosed that he was arrested on June 15 by members of the Provincial Intelligence Unit of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, in Brgy. San Vicente, Binalbagan, for collecting STL bets, although he was not unauthorized to do so.

Amparado admitted that he remitted his collections to a certain Annaliza Ledesma, alias Daku, since 2022, at the STL outlet located at 3rd Street in Brgy. Progreso, Binalbagan.

Similar modus operandi were also monitored by PCSO where legitimate STL bet solicitors did not remit their collections to agencies given franchised by the operating STL but to financiers of illegal gambling.

PCSO also got information that financiers of illegal gambling are also paying the recommended bail set by the court, for the arrested bet solicitors, who also resumed their illegal activities.

Based on information provided by arrested illegal bet solicitors, the Philippine National Police is now closely monitoring financiers of illegal gambling.

In the past three months, police have arrested 15 suspects in Negros Occidental, for collecting STL bets, without authority from Super Lucky Beagler Incorporate (SLBI). PCSO has designated SLBI as the STL Authorized Agent Corporation in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City.

Nabbed for violation of RA 928 7, or illegal gambling, in San Carlos City was Gualberto Agwanta and Julieto Craste.  While arrested in Binalbagan were Jonathan Santiniaman and Lilibeth Borbon. Michael Geva, Christian Cruz and James Pajarillo, Rodrigo Garche were arrested in Escalante City while Restituto Wasawas in Calatrava, , Andres Rebonsa in Isabela,  Renante Pille in Himamaylan City, Razel Garcia in Toboso,  Jomarie Lozada in Candoni, Necol Jay Tagonesa in Sipalay City, Perla Beloan in E.B. Magalona and Antonio Losocon in Hinobaan, all in Negros Occidental.

The apprehension of the suspects also yielded expired STL identification cards and STL tally sheets, and cash bets of P5,413, according to reports of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office.

 Police earlier filed charges against 18 “bookies” collectors for violation of Republic Act 9287, or illegal gambling, in Negros Occidental, as the heightened campaign against all forms of illegal gambling was ordered by Brig. Gen. Jack Wanky, Regional Police Director of Western Visayas.

Bookies is an illegal numbers game that uses winning numbers from the STL draws of the PCSO. RA 9287, which increases penalties for illegal numbers games in the country, aims to eradicate these activities and punish those involved, including bettors, personnel, and government officials, while also protecting witnesses and incentives for law enforcement officers.

Collectors or agents may be imprisoned for 8 years and day to 10 years, while personnel or staff of illegal numbers game operations face imprisonment for 6 years and to 8 years, and collectors or agents may be imprisoned for 8 years and day to 10 years.

Wanky  ordered all police commanders in Western Visayas to intensify their enforcement campaigns.

“Those who operate illegally should be continually subject to law enforcement operations,” he stressed. The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the PCSO have partnered to intensify the campaign against illegal gambling activities nationwide by enforcing the “one strike and no-take policy.”(TDE)

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