Gamboa, men agree on tougher anti-illegal gambling drive

PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa and his 17 regional directors and other chiefs of national support units have met and agreed on their ‘do’s and don’ts’ when it comes to their ongoing crackdown against jueteng and other forms of illegal gambling activities in the country.

“It’s more on putting up issues and getting inputs from them in order to come up with ideal strategies,” the PNP chief said.

First thing first, he said that he has ordered his men that his ‘no-take policy’ will stay and commanders in areas where illegal gambling activities are continuing due to protection being offered to some police officers and men will suffer once those illegal gambling dens are raided by the PNP Integrity Management and Enforcement Group.

Gen. Gamboa said  what was made clear in their command conference yesterday is that there will be no let-up in their campaign against ‘Jueteng, Video-Karera and Fruit Game machines, Swertres and other illegal number and illegal gambling activities.

However, he said that he has ordered his men to coordinate with local chief executives in their areas their crackdown on ‘tupadas,’ sakla and the like.’

The PNP chief said it is their opinion that cockfights being held outside legal cockpit arenas are ‘illegal per se’ and are automatically targets of police operations.

In the case of ‘sakla’ being played during wakes, he said he has ordered his men to allow only one table for a card game and one table for mahjong during the entire duration of the wake being held in honor of a departed person.

“All other games being done in wakes are banned. What is clear here is that there should only be one table for mahjong and sakla,” Gen. Gamboa said even as he instructed police ground commanders to coordinate their operations with mayors and barangay captains.

The top cop said he has instructed National Capital Region Police Office director, Major Gen. Debold M. Sinas to fully comply with his directive on ‘Sakla-Patay,’ meaning, the Metro Manila police will now allow one table for ‘sakla’ and one table for ‘mahjong’ games during funeral wakes in the metropolis.

The PNP chief said that late this month, they will be also meeting with concerned agencies like the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Philippine Gaming and Amusement Corporation and the Games and Amusement Board to discuss concerns regarding operations of POGO, Small Town Lottery and ‘Online Sabong.’

“We will tell them this one is a legal activity and these are the illegal games that are resultant to legal games.  We will inform them what is legal and illegal for proper actions,” he said.

All PNP units have stepped-up their drive versus all forms of illegal number games including the banned ‘video-karera’ which has long been associated with drug dependents on a ‘trip.’

In Metro Manila, Gen. Sinas has ordered his men to target all operators of illegal number games and other vices as well as their players.

Sinas said he has instructed all 5 NCRPO districts to conduct ‘simultaneous enhanced managing police operations’ previously known as ‘One-Time, Big-Time’ operations against personalities behind the operations of all illegal gambling activities in the metropolis including ‘video-karera,’  illegal cockfighting, ‘sakla,’ jueteng and lotteng.’

The NCRPO chief said that illegal gambling machines and paraphernalia including ‘VK’ monitors complete with their mother boards seized during their operations will be immediately subjected to destruction.

Illegal numbers game is described as any form of illegal gambling activity which uses numbers of combinations thereof as factors in giving out jackpots. The law identifies ‘jueteng, masiao and Last Two’ where the winning combination is derived from the last two numbers of the first prize of the winning Sweepstakes ticket as among the illegal number games.