MANILA — The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has lauded the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for its continuing effort to fight illegal gambling in the country.
PCSO Chairman Jose Jorge Corpuz said the NBI Central Visayas recently raided six betting stations of the illegal Peryahan ng Bayan in Cebu and Mandaue City.
“The PCSO would like to congratulate NBI Central Visayas Regional Office over the arrest of six collectors and maintainers of the Peryahanng Bayan in Central Visayas,” Corpuz said in a statement Thursday.
NBI Central Visayas Regional Office Acting Regional Director Patricio Bernales Jr. said the six arrested Globaltech employees were all charged in court for violation of Presidential Decree 1602 in relation to Republic Act 9287.
The arrest was conducted after First Golden Fortune Leisure Inc. and Saturn Gaming N’Amusement Corporation, both Authorized Agent Corporations (AACs) of the PCSO, complained to the NBI Central Visayas Regional Office that the illegal Peryahan ng Bayan was operating right beside legitimate small town lottery (STL) operations.
According to Corpuz, such accomplishment is a significant and inspiring development in accordance to President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order No. 13, intensifying the government’s fight against illegal gambling in the country.
“We also appreciate the prompt action taken on the request of our AAC in Cebu to abate the illegal operations of Peryahan ng Bayan in the same area,” Corpuz said, adding that the arrested people were employees of Globaltech Mobile Online Corp.
“They are claiming they have PCSO approval when the authorization has already been terminated because of their refusal to remit revenues to the government,” said Corpuz.
Corpuz noted that Peryahan ng Bayan continues to operate several areas in Central Visayas although the PCSO had already terminated its deed of authorization (DOA) last year because of their repeated refusal to comply with the terms of the DOA.
For his part, PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan said the PCSO has authorized new STL players to increase the government’s charity funds but the revenues of these AACs are suffering because of the continued operation of illegal gambling operations, like Peryahan ng Bayan.
“We appreciate the continued assistance and coordination of NBI with the agency,although it does not receive a single centavo from STL. Please continue your crackdown against illegal gambling,” Balutan said.
Earlier, Balutan has called on Philippine National Police (PNP) to hit hard on illegal gambling, particularly illegal numbers game “jueteng” that continuously compete with the government-sanctioned STL.
“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 reiterated.
The general manager said even the STL collectors who turn to be from legitimate STL operators should not be spared from the arrest if proven to be running illegal bookies in their areas of operations.
“The PCSO, together with our STL AACs hopes to finally eradicate jueteng which seems to be the biggest challenge of STL operations,” Balutan added.
Balutan noted that the PNP enjoys a 2.5 percent share from the PCSO income from STL income and yet they have not even arrested any ‘big-time’ illegal gambling operations, unlike the NBI which does not even have a share from STL revenues.
“After one year in the PCSO, we now know that Illegal gambling can be stopped, but the Philippine National Police should do their job, especially since they have a share in the revenues of the PCSO,” he added. (PNA)