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Jueteng in Bicol persists

By Mar S. Arguelles LEGAZPI CITY --- For failing to rid their respective areas of jurisdiction of illegal gambling, at least three town police chiefs in Bicol are facing removal from their posts after the lapse of the 15-day anti-illegal gambling deadline set by Director General Ronald Dela Rosa, Philippine National Police chief. These town police chiefs are assigned in the provinces of Camarines Norte and Sorsogon, according to Senior Inspector Maria Luisa Calubaquib, PNPO Bicol spokesperson. She declined to name the town police chiefs as they are still waiting for the official relief order signed by Chief Supt. Antonio Gardiola, Bicol police director. Calubanquib said an investigation team sent to their towns found out that these police officers failed to wipe out illegal gambling operations in their respective areas. The PNP chief gave regional police directors across the country a 15-day deadline to stop illegal gambling, particularly the illegal numbers game, “jueteng.” A PNP report indicated that for the period Aug. 1 to 15, various police units have arrested 1,511 persons involved in illegal gambling, including 20 were gambling operators while close to P300,000 in bet money were confiscated. Of the 620 anti-illegal gambling operations uncovered by the PNP, Calubaquib said 70 were found involved in STL bookies while three in jueteng operations. Meanwhile, in Albay, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed last August 2 a resolution recommending to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) the cancellation of the Agency agreement and the authority granted to Lucky V Prime Enterprise Corporation to operate the Small Town Lottery (STL) in Albay for allegedly failing to comply with the provisions stipulated in the STIL Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). Albay Vice Governor Harold Imperia, in an interview, said that all the provisions under the IRR were not complied with by the Lucky V operator. He said jueteng still exists in the guise of STL as one cannot distinguish “bookies” from PCSO STL-bet collectors who are required wear a prescribed identification card and vest and must issue a receipt. He said the result of the daily draw is supposed to be open for public viewing through a CCTV network and the radio and TV stations operating in Albay. Imperial also expressed disappointment over the share that the PCSO remits following the two-month operations of STL here. The provincial treasurer only received P18,000 from the PCSO Charity Fund, Imperial said He also added that under PCSO Presumptive Monthly Retail Receipt (PMRR) the operator should have collected P77M in gross monthly draws. Of this collection, 55 percent goes to prizes, 30 percent to the Charity Fund and the rest goes to operator.

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