Peemayers vs Peemayers in ‘jueteng’ drive

August 22, 2020

IT seems that graduates of the Philippine Military Academy led by PNP chief General Archie Gamboa are being pitted against some of their fellow officers from the police and the military including some PMAyers too in their campaign to get rid of jueteng in the country thru an honest-to-goodness ‘no-take policy.’

In a talk with a number of police generals, I learned that shortly after Gen. Gamboa was designated as PNP Officer-in-Charge last October and later as PNP chief by President Duterte last February, he had told all his 17 Regional Directors and the head of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of his strict ‘no-take policy.’

Gen. Gamboa made sure that those who will not toe the line will be relieved from their posts. As a result, all his RDs followed his directive despite being lambasted left and right by a number of personalities who used to benefit from the illegal numbers’ game.

Among those who have been hit by ‘unsavory media reports’ after they completely stopped all forms of illegal gambling activities in the areas  are Police Regional Office 1 director in Ilocos-Pangasinan region, Brigadier Gen. Jun Azurin, PRO4-A director in Calabarzon region, Brig. Gen. Vic Danao Jr. and PRO5 director in Bicol region, Brig. Gen. Anthony Alcañeses.

Many RDs told me they fully abide by the Chief,PNP’s instructions since they don’ want to waste the opportunity and betray the trust and confidence given them by the PNP leadership when they were appointed to their posts. But as many have been saying, you can’t please everybody, most especially people whose pockets have been affected by the PNP chief’s policy.

On Friday, Azurin, a member of PMA ‘Makatao’ Class of 1989 announced the arrest of 173 persons in Pangasinan said to be involved in ‘jueteng’ operations using non-existing Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office permit as a front for their illegal activities. Those operations also led in the confiscation of nearly P900,000 in cash bets, the official added.

The PRO1 director said that the apprehended violators failed to present pertinent documents authorizing the operation of Small-Town Lottery and Card Games in their municipalities and there were also  no PCSO representatives present to prove that their operation is legal.

Azurin also identified the alleged ‘manager/operator’ of ‘jueteng’ in Pangasinan as Efren Fajardo, the incumbent chairman of Barangay Sagud Bahley in San Fabian, Pangasinan. Azurin described Fajardo as a graduate of PMA lass 1993 who used to be a member of the Philippine Air Force. Fajardo could not be immediately contacted for comment on the charges against him made by the PRO1 director.

The Ilocos-Pangasinan police commander said that on Wednesday, his men launched a 1-day anti-illegal gambling drive under their ‘Operations High Roller’ in the province which resulted in the arrest of 173 suspects and the seizure of P862,665 in cash bets. That’s a record indeed.

Forty-four of the suspects yielded P274,985 in cash bets during the operation in Calasiao municipality while 37 who were arrested in San Fabian yielded P169,854 in cash bets. Another 27 who were arrested in San Jacinto municipality were found in possession of P76,120 in cash bets while 41 who were apprehended in Binmaley yielded P60,522 in cash bets.

Azurin said that 20 others were arrested in Malasiqui where they yielded P169,854 in cash bets; 1 in Mangatarem with P450 in cash; 1 in Dagupan City with P250 in cash bets;  1 in Asingan with P320 in cash bets and another 1 in Mangatarem with P328 in collected bets. I’m sure that local government and police officials protecting ‘jueteng’ operations in these areas are worried sick.

THESE GOOD SAMARITANS ARE ALL CHINESE NATIONALS

ON a personal note, I would again like to thank these Good Samaritans from the Chinese community who have been silently supporting the government in its call for private help for Filipinos affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Without any fanfare, members of  Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary Executive Squadron led by Commodore Alex Co have poured millions of pesos to help provide face masks, face shields, instant cup noodles, instant noodles and ‘pancit’ to members of the police force and lawbreakers currently being held in different police jails in Metro Manila. These Chinese Coast Guard Auxiliaries are headed by philanthropist Dr. James G. Dy of the Chinese General Hospital.

Their recipients include the NCRPO headed by Major General Debold Sinas, the PNP Headquarters Support Service headed by Brigadier Gen. Alex Sampaga, the PNP Highway Patrol Group headed by Brig. Gen. Ely Cruz, the Police Community Affairs and Development Group headed by Brig. Gen. Lito Daniel, the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group headed by Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo, the PNP Public Information Office headed by Brig. Gen. Bernie Banac and the PNP Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group headed by Brig. Gen. Ronald Lee.

On Friday, I joined Co and his fellows, Commander Ainsley Sy and Captain Lucky Santos and a good friend, Commo. Jimmy Cheng, a co-founder of the PNP Press Corps and publisher of the United Daily News in providing face masks and boxes of noodles and pancit to the QCPD Station 10 headed by Lieutenant Col. Bernouli Abalos. The noodles will also be used to help feed over 150 QCPD Station 10 inmates, most of them jailed for illegal drugs.

Members of the Chinese and Filipino-Chinese community in the country are actually playing the role of ‘Good Samaritans’ without asking television crews or photographers to join them. These ‘modern-day heroes’ include  members of the Filipino-Chinese community led by the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FFCCCII) headed by Henry Lim Bon Liong for their untiring effort to help the government in its fight against COVID-19 without asking anything in return.

As I have previously said, I have been a personal witness since last March to the sacrifices of FFCCCII officers and men who poured in a total of P200 million from their calamity fund to procure much-needed personal protective equipment and other supplies needed by our ‘front-liners’ and the ‘poorest of the poor.’ This despite the fact that they are also among those hardest hit by business losses as a result of the pandemic.

A good friend of mine, Nelson Guevarra, the chairman of the FFCCII External Affairs Committee has been in-charge of distributing the relief packages since last March 18. I know it since I have visited their distribution hub twice and saw the hard work of Guevarra and his staff.

So that the country may know, the FFCCCII so far has already distributed food packs, rice and medical supplies to more than 800 local government units, 150 medical institutions and 350 doctors and 1,000 nurses across the country.

The goods include 200,000 packs of 5-kilo rice, 6,000 packs of 50-kilo rice, 2.5 million surgical masks, 120,000 gloves, 30,000 PPE suits, 20,000 KN95 masks, 3,000 gallons of alcohol, 1,000 units of thermal scanners, 3 ventilator units, 10,000 tetra packs (milk), 4,000 toothpastes, 1,000 boxes of Vitamin C, 50 pieces of folding beds, 16,000 sachets of powdered milk, 60,000 cans of sardines, 60,000 packs of instant noodles and 1,500 meters of PE tarp. Again, may your tribe increase.