PNP declares all-out war vs. illegal gambling

MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday declared an all-out war against illegal gambling.

PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa expressed confidence that illegal gambling can be stopped in six months.

In a press conference in Camp Crame, Quezon City, Dela Rosa said that if all government agencies and the public would cooperate with one another, the operation of all forms of illegal gambling in the country can be stopped.

”The Philippine National Police will continue to hit hard on all forms of illegal gambling activities in line with Executive Order No. 13 issued by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” Dela Rosa said.

EO No. 13 directs the PNP, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and other law enforcement agencies to intensify the national campaign against illegal gambling in coordination with the Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

It also directs these law enforcement agencies to coordinate and promptly act on requests of gambling regulatory authorities to investigate and put a stop to illegal gambling activities in their respective jurisdictions.

”This new mandate of the PNP comprise a wider range of anti-illegal gambling efforts to enforce Presidential Decree 1602, prescribing stiffer penalties on illegal gambling; and Republic Act 9287, the law increasing the penalties for illegal numbers games and amending certain provisions of Presidential Decree no. 1602,” Dela Rosa said.

Anticipating the full implementation of EO No. 13 upon its publication last week, Dela Rosa said, “the Directorate for Operations is now preparing certain adjustments in our own Campaign Plan against illegal gambling that will now cover illegal online gambling activities as defined under this Executive Order.”

The Director for Operations has already alerted all Police Regional Offices to conduct One-Time-Big-Time (OTBT) operations against illegal gambling in their respective areas and sustain the distinction as illegal gambling free region.

”I am glad to note that the PCSO (Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office) has successfully established the government-operated Small Town Lottery (STL) in different parts of the country as an effective way to keep illegal gambling operators out of business,” Dela Rosa said.

The bottomline is the national advocacy to rid the country of all forms of illegal gambling activities that contribute to moral decay and provide an economic support system that sustains other forms of illegal activity.

”Furthermore, based on our own experience, illegal gambling activities, if left unchecked, breeds corruption and may mutate into other forms of organized crime, including drug-trafficking, illegal vices, money-laundering and kidnapping,” Dela Rosa said. Perfecto Raymundo/