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PNP intensifies anti-illegal gambling ops as STL suspension is lifted

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By Aaron Recuenco

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has intensified its anti-illegal gambling monitoring after President Duterte lifted the suspension of the operations of the Small-Town Lottery (STL).

PNP CHIEF DIR GEN. Oscar Albayalde, speaks during a press conferecne about the recently concluded Barangay and SK Election 2018, at the PNP National Election Monitoring Center (NEMAC) at Camp Crame in Quezon City, May 15 2018. According to the PNP, the election is generally peaceful. (Mark Balmores)

PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde (MARK BALMORES / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

According to PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde, what they wanted to prevent was attempts by illegal gambling operators to exploit the resumption of STL operations for the operation of “jueteng” and other illegal numbers games.

“We respect the President’s decision to lift the STL suspension. But of course, there maybe some people who might take advantage of that again for ‘jueteng’-like operations,” said Albayalde.

“That is why we have standing directive to all our line units in the regions to go after illegal gambling,” he added.

Two illegal gambling supervisors, or “kabo”, were arrested along with 10 bet collectors in a raid by operatives of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) in Manila, hours before the lifting of STL suspension was announced.

The suspects were reportedly using lotto results for their illegal gambling activities.

President Duterte recently suspended all the licensed games of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) over alleges rampant corruption.

Reports also disclosed that some active and retired police officials were among the operators of STL, who cheat the government by not remitting what was supposed to be collected by the government.

Albayalde said that the allegation was now being investigated by the Directorate for Intelligence.

He confirmed that during the time of now Sen. Ronald dela Rosa as PNP chief, at least one senior PNP official was going around the country to promote STL.

“Hopefully, itong paglabas nitong STL hindi na mag-iikot yun at i-promote pa yung STL at alam naman natin na bawal sa amin yan. Hindi kami puwedeng magpromote ng STL,” said Albayalde.

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