Zero illegal gambling
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
After the death of former Department of Interior and Local Goverment Secretary Jesse Robredo a few months ago, the “one-strike policy” on Philippine National Police officers who fail to stop, or are found to be protecting illegal gambling operations, is still being enforced in Negros Oriental.
A new directive called the “no-take” policy has been relentlessly enforced so PNP officers can achieve “zero illegal gambling” in their areas of assignment.
The one-strike policy is enforced to ensure the active and intensified campaign against all forms of illegal activities in the province especially illegal gambling, loose firearms and illegal drugs that, provided there are legal grounds to morally convince their officials that the police chief is on the take, would warrant his relief.
In September 2011, the former police provincial director in Negros Oriental identified 24 illegal “swertres” financiers, and after validation it was down to seven because some of them had voluntarily stopped operations. This year, 60 illegal gambling operators were arrested, while last year, 94 swertres coordinators and ushers were apprehended.
The Provincial Police Director has confirmed that some gambling lords in the province are influential politicians. The police will continue to apply legal search and seizures and observe due process on suspects, he said.
There is no question that bettors will stop betting if there are no illegal gambling operators or financiers supporting the game. It has been noted that the number of illegal numbers game operations has dropped this year, compared to last year. Hopefully swertres will be eradicated by next year.*