PNP chief: stop illegalgambling at all cost

By Mar S. Arguelles

LEGAZPI CITY --- Police Director-General Debold Sinas, the new chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) has directed last week his police forces in Bicol to step up their drive versus illegal gambling, drugs, and insurgency.

Sinas said these were the orders issued by President Rodrigo Duterte when he assumed his post to stop illegal gambling, drugs and to step up the government’s campaign to end the local armed conflict.

The CPNP said the widespread illegal gambling activities “must be stopped,” as this activity is hurting and enormously affecting the Philippine Charity Sweepstake Office (PCSO) operation in raising and providing funds for health programs, medical assistance and other charity programs.

Sinas ordered his men to “stop illegal gambling” in their respective areas warning his men that the “one strike” policy would be strictly enforced.

He said “the illegal operations make gambling lords more richer while hurting the government revenue raising program aimed to help poor families in the countryside.”

Reports said gambling syndicates are making a big take by riding on the PCSO STL lottery game by engaging in “bookies” operations.

Sinas also warned his men that under his watch the anti-corruption drive in PNP would be strengthened as the “no-take” policy would be strictly followed by policing their own ranks.

“We will deal with any police officers who would violate this policy once found guilty of receiving money from gambling lords, drug syndicates and unscrupulous businessmen,” he said at a command visit on Nov. 26, at Camp Simeon Ola, Legazpi City.

He also presented his Finance Reform Program where operational funds of all police units from the regional down to the police “cutting edge” units would be transacted at the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP). These funds include those for the anti-gambling, drug, and terrorism campaign operations.

For the anti-insurgency campaign, Sinas directed his men to closely coordinate and support the local Regional Task Force on Ending Local Armed Conflict (RTF-ELAC).

On the campaign versus illegal drugs, he also ordered regular conduct of surprise random drug test to ensure that the police officers implementing the campaign are not drug users or addicts.

During his visit, Sinas turned over five vehicles to police stations and he graced the ground breaking ceremony of a health facility inside the camp. He also presided a command conference of ranking police officials in the region.