Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) General Manager Alexander Balutan is confident that incoming Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police Director Oscar Albayalde will hit hard against jueteng and other illegal gambling activities in the country.
Albayalde, who is currently National Capital Regional Police Office (NCRPO) Director, has been named to replace outgoing PNP chief General Ronald dela Rosa.
“Albayalde is a hard-working officer and we have confidence that aside from his pronouncement to continue President Duterte and outgoing PNP chief Gen. dela Rosa’s war against drugs, he will also strengthen the administration’s war against illegal gambling,” said Balutan, a retired Marine major general, who belongs to PMA “Matikas” Class ’83.
In February 2017, President Duterte signed Executive Order No. 13 which aims to strengthen the fight against illegal gambling in the country.
The EO orders the PNP, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and other law enforcement agencies to coordinate with each other to stop illegal gambling.
Earlier, Authorized Agent Corporations or AACs) playing Small Town Lottery (STL) from all over the country raised concern over police inaction in their areas of operation against illegal gambling in a consultative meeting conducted at PCSO Main Office in Mandaluyong City.
The STL agents said illegal gambling activities such as jueteng, swertres, masiao, pares and “peryahan ng bayan” have caused the government and their business loss in profit due to competition.
The aim of the meeting was to assess and discuss some revisions of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Small Town Lottery (STL) and address the issues and problems concerning the shortfalls of STL operators in their Presumptive Monthly Retail Receipt (PMRR).
At present, there are 83 AACs actively operating STL in the country.
It has been noted that in 2017, the PCSO has declared 30-percent loss in STL earnings due to illegal gambling operations.
“We have to face the illegal gambling crisis and double our efforts in the conduct of operations against illegal gambling to arrest syndicates, particularly those who are using STL as a front to cover their illegal business,” Balutan said.
These losses, in turn, deprive our citizens of health care and other benefits that PCSO is providing to the poorest of the poor, Balutan said. (PNA)