MANILA, Philippines - As the ultimatum to stop illegal gambling operations in the country ends today, Interior and Local Government officer-in-charge Catalino Cuy admitted yesterday it has not been an easy fight.
“We all know (illegal gambling) is embedded in our culture. So, we need a national approach to end it,” Cuy said in Filipino.
While he believes all regional and provincial police directors as well as the town police chiefs have managed to comply with the ultimatum to end illegal gambling operations, the local government officials still play a role in the proliferation of illegal gambling in their localities.
“Illegal gambling activities would not proliferate in some localities if these are not tolerated by local government units,” Cuy said.
On July 31, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa ordered all police commanders nationwide to stop illegal gambling operations in the country within 15 days or be relieved.
He clarified though that this directive was not in reaction to the plan of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to cut its financial assistance to the PNP due to poor performance against illegal gambling.
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Based on latest reports, the PNP arrested a total of 14,248 in its intensified anti-gambling drive from February this year. The confiscated bets reached almost P6 million.
PCSO general manager Alexander Balutan said they are disappointed with the PNP’s performance and that the PCSO Board already discussed the possibility of amending the existing Memorandum of Agreement by October.
He pointed out that the PNP has been receiving an allocation of 2.5 percent from PCSO’s monthly revenue, which the PCSO wants to cut by half.