MANILA — With President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to close down all gaming operations of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said it will now be easier for police officers to apprehend persons involved in illegal numbers games.
“It’s better now because we can easily arrest collectors of these illegal games. Before, when there was small town lottery (STL), and then there is jueteng, it is hard. For all you know, STL was stopped because those who are collecting for STL are also the ones collecting for jueteng,” NCRPO chief Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar told reporters on the sidelines of the demolition of the Police Community Precinct 6 in West Crame, San Juan City, which is built on a sidewalk.
A day after President Duterte ordered the suspension of all games licensed by the PCSO, Eleazar said the Regional Special Operations Unit (RSOU) arrested five bet collectors for STL along Imperial St. beside Mega Q-Mart, in Barangay E. Rodriguez in Cubao, Quezon City on Saturday.
Recovered from the suspects were several STL bet receipts with written numerical figures; seven pieces of ball pens; four sling bags; three identification cards issued by Great Platinum Gaming Online Inc. bearing the names of Arnold Vargas, Thelmo Comia, and Robert O. Palas; and bet collection money with an aggregate amount of PHP1,602 in different denominations.
The arrested suspects were brought to the RSOU office, together with the confiscated pieces of evidence for investigation and proper disposition.
Criminal complaints for violation of PD 1602 as amended by RA 9287 (Illegal Numbers Game/Jueteng) has been filed in court.
Eleazar urged the public to provide information so the police could conduct operations against those persons involved in illegal activities.
“Police officers have a lot of work to do. We have the campaign against illegal drugs and other forms of criminality. Now, we need information, if the public has information, the can send it to us and we will operate. We will be relentless in our campaign against all forms of illegal gambling,” Eleazar stressed.
Eleazar said they have already closed down all lotto and other betting outlets for PCSO-licensed games in Metro Manila.
“The order of the President for the PNP to help the implementation of his declaration that lotto and other PCSO-licensed games as illegal was 100 percent complied in Metro Manila as of 11 p.m. Saturday,” he said.
“We immediately implemented the order before the opening of lotto outlets on Saturday to make sure that there will be no more bettors who would shell out money to place bets because these games were already considered illegal as of Friday when President Duterte announced it,” the Metro Manila top cop added.
He said that a total of 1,653 lotto outlets were closed, including those in malls and other business establishments, while 349 STL outlets were shut down.
A total of 19 Keno outlets and 55 Peryahan ng Bayan were also closed down across the metropolis, according to Eleazar. Christopher Lloyd Caliwan / PNA – northboundasia.com