MANILA, Philippines - Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa yesterday gave police regional directors 15 days to stop illegal gambling operations in the country, particularly in Luzon.
Dela Rosa said some sectors are using the PNP as a scapegoat in the failure to curb illegal gambling, particularly STL or small town lottery.
“So henceforth, I am directing all regional directors (RDs) to go all out against illegal gambling, I am giving them 15 days to stop illegal gambling,” Dela Rosa said.
“If they can’t stop illegal gambling and then the RDs, I will relieve them. I am also giving them the authority to relieve their PDs (provincial directors), and PDs, I am giving them the authority to relieve their chiefs of police. Those who are not performing, those who are not reacting to my directive, relieve them all,” he added.
Dela Rosa gave the ultimatum to the regional police chiefs yesterday during the regular command conference at the multi-purpose hall in Camp Crame, Quezon City. Dela Rosa presided over the command conference attended by all RDs and heads of the national support units that lasted for almost six hours.
“We will eliminate illegal gambling and 15 days is enough, pag hindi (if not) I will start relieving commanders,” he added.
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The PNP chief appealed to legal STL operators to shape up.
Dela Rosa said that some authorized STL operators are also involved in the operations of bookies.
He warned the STL operators not to protect illegal bookies operating in their areas.
“Although this is a social problem, but still law enforcement is the number one consideration if you want to stop illegal gambling,” he said.
He noted that the directive is not an offshoot of the threat of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office to cut by half the financial assistance they are giving to the PNP for its failure to stop illegal gambling nationwide that affects the earnings of the charity office.
Dela Rosa said the police could operate without PCSO support.
PCSO general manager Alexander Balutan said the PCSO leadership is disappointed with the accomplishment of the PNP in the campaign against illegal gambling.
Balutan said the PNP has been receiving 2.5 percent allocation from PCSO’s monthly revenue and the PCSO is planning to cut the assistance by at least 50 percent.
“The PCSO board members are already having a discussion that by October this year, we will amend the existing memorandum of agreement,” he said.
The PNP has received an estimated P154 million from the PCSO from January to June or almost P26 million monthly.
Balutan said the money to be deducted from the PNP assistance funds could be given to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
“We will reduce the 2.5 percent in order for the AFP and NBI to also have a share of financial assistance,” said Balutan.
Under existing MOA, the PCSO will give 2.5 percent of its revenues to the PNP every month in exchange for aggressive anti-illegal gambling operations across the country.