PNP CHIEF Ronald dela Rosa with so-called ‘narco generals. At right, the PNP chief holds a poster on suspects in the ‘rent-sangla’ activities.
By FRANCO G. REGALA
CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga (PhilAmPress) — Despite the stern warning of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa to police regional directors to stop illegal gambling operations in their areas of responsibility (AOR), the illegal numbers game, particularly “jueteng” is still reportedly rampant in Central Luzon.
Aside from jueteng, video karera, sakla, illegal perya and sa pula sa puti game are also proliferating in the cities of Olongapo, Mabalacat, San Fernando, Cabanatuan, Palayan, Balanga and the provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pampanga and Zambales.
According to sources, the operation of jueteng in Olongapo City is allegedly managed and operated by a certain “Echie.” It uses the small town lottery (STL) as a front for their three-time betting operations.
The same modus of jueteng operation is also seen in the cities of San Fernando, Angeles, Mabalacat, Cabanatuan, Palayan, Balanga, Munoz, Malolos, San Jose Del Monte and Tarlac, a former police intel agent said.
The PNP leadership of Gen. Bato had been criticized for failing to curb the illegal numbers game in the region, particularly those using STL as a front for jueteng operations.
Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) General Manager Alexander Balutan blasted the PNP chief for his “weak performance’’ to stamp out illegal gambling like jueteng, which he said is messing up the monthly revenue collection of the state-sanctioned STL.
The flak prompted Gen. dela Rosa to order all police regional directors across the country to curb the illegal operation and arrest the gambling operators and their financiers. His directive mandates the police regional offices to resolve the problem within 15 days.
“I am directing all Regional Directors to go all out against illegal gambling. I am giving them 15 days to stop illegal gambling. I think it’s enough (time),” said Dela Rosa in an earlier interview with national media.
He also gave the regional directors the authority to relieve or dismiss provincial directors, police station chiefs from their posts if they fail to stop illegal gambling within their AOR.
The Chief PNP said he will not hesitate to relieve the regional directors from their posts if they fail to comply with his order.
Balutan said that the PCSO would push to cut by at least 50 percent the PNP share on their revenues from STL operation if jueteng continues.
Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino, PNP director for Central Luzon based in Camp Olivas, assured that all provincial and city police directors have been given orders to follow the mandate of the chief PNP, and warned they would be removed from their command if their performance is disappointing, especially in the war against illegal gambling.