Turf war feared in shootout
By Mar S. Arguelles LEGAZPI CITY --- Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara believes that a brewing infighting among officers of the Lucky V Prime Enterprise triggered the assassination attempt Wednesday last week on the chairman of the Small Town Lottery (STL) gaming company. “This is how I read it: There’s a sort of turf war going on between the group of (Lucky V Prime Enterprise Chairman Alex Herman) Alemania and one Alex Javier who was allegedly booted out of the corporation,” Bichara said. The letter that he was preparing to write to ask President Rodrigo Duterte to stop the STL operation in his province, according to Bichara, would cite the deterioration of peace and order brought about by turf war on the STL operation that in effect is bringing negative impression on potential business as well as tourism opportunities for the city and the province. Bichara said he would also consult the matter with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, including the 15 town mayors and three city mayors for the eventual cancellation of the business permit issued to the Lucky V gaming operation. It should be recalled that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Albay has passed as early as August 2, 2017 a resolution asking the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to cancel the franchise of Lucky V for the latter’s failure to comply with the agreements stipulated in the STL Implementing Rules and Regulations. In that resolution, SP claimed that jueteng, the illegal number game, still exists; this time under the guise of STL, where STL bookies are hardly distinguishable from jueteng bet collectors. The SP has also expressed disappointment over the shares that the PCSO remits to various local government units since STL has been in operation for six months now. Under the PCSO Presumptive Monthly Retail Receipt (PMRR) the Lucky V should have collected P77M in gross monthly draws. Of this collection, 55% goes to prizes, 30% to PCSO’s Charity Fund and the rest goes to operations.