STL in Albay sought by gov to be stopped


By Rhaydz B. Barcia LEGAZPI CITY --- Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara ordered the cessation of operation of Small Town Lottery (STL) throughout the province following the shootout incident in front of Ayala Mall late Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 15) here last week. “The shootout has something to do with the STL operation. This is not acceptable. They should leave our province and do business somewhere else because we don’t want the Albayanos to be victimized by these gamblers who bring war in Albay,” an irate Bichara told newsmen during the press briefing conducted on the next day after the incident at his office at the provincial capitol here. Bichara lamented that while the provincial government of Albay is earnestly campaigning to attract tourists and encourage businessmen to invest in the province, the operation of STL through a permit granted by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office has only created chaos bringing fear to the residents. The governor said he wants the license given to STL management to be rebuked and will ask President Rodrigo Duterte to stop its operation in Albay at the soonest possible time. Bichara is the concurrent chairman of the League of Governor of the Philippines. “We will ask President Rodrigo Duterte to stop the STL operations for creating chaos in the province while not complying with the remittance of P70M as monthly share intended for government’s coffer,” the governor said. Last Nov. 15, two suspects aboard a motorcycle shot 48-year old Alex German Alemania, reportedly the chairman of Lucky V Prime Enterprises Corp., operator of STL in Albay. Critically wounded, the victim was rushed to the nearby Albay Doctors Hospital. On Monday, or after five days, he finally succumbed to death due to serious bullet wounds. Responding policemen led by Police Senior Supt. Nilo Berdin were able to kill one of the two suspects, identified as Marlon Magsino, reportedlt a resident of Malvar, Batangas. Michael Malveda, 43, the second suspect, of Lipa City, Batangas, survived with injuries. He is being treated at the hospital while under the custody of the police pending full investigation of the case. “Fortunately there is no Albayano hit in the shootout. We will not allow this to happen again in our province,” Bichara said. He added that “although we welcome businessmen here, we will not allow anyone to bring war in Albay.” “Don’t mess in Albay,” Bichara warned the management of Lucky V. Prime Enterprises Corp. Bichara told newsmen that the shooting incident came after Alex Javier, one of the investors of Lucky V Prime Enterprises Corp., was reportedly booted out from the company. Alemania was riding in white van with a woman companion identified as Querobin Anne Marie Lagman, 24, reportedly the daughter of the owner of Lady Anne Bar, and several other companions when the incident took place. Berdin who was earlier suspended for few months was reinstated by Legazpi Mayor Noel Rosal before the latter left for the COP 23 conference in Bonn, Germany.