BENGUET – Philippine National Police D/Gen. Nicanor Bartolome Jr. ordered the Police Regional Office-Cordillera to stop jueteng in the region.
Bartolome issued the order during his command visit to Camp Bado Dangwa, La Trinidad and at the Tuba Municipal Police Station over the weekend.
“Your performance on peace and order is good, but I would like you to pay attention to illegal gambling. Don’t allow any operator to enter your jurisdiction. I will hold chiefs of police responsible if illegal gambling is reported in your areas,” Bartolome said.
PRO-Cor Director Benjamin Magalong, Benguet Police Provincial Office Director Benjamin Lusad, and Baguio City Police Office Director Jesus Cambay Jr. were with the PNP chief when he issued the order.
Cordillera police officers vowed to comply with Bartolome’s directive.
Bartolome visited Baguio and Benguet after he was honored at the Philippine Military Academy.
The PNP chief said he would not hesitate to impose punishments to any policemen found remiss in implementing his directive on jueteng.
Prior to Bartolome’s order, jueteng operations in the Cordilleras were ordered to stop on Sept. 19.
This came after former PNP director general now Sen. Panfilo Lacson Sr. said a number of ranking police officers nationwide are receiving payola from jueteng operators.
Earlier, Bartolome informed the Senate that the operation of small town lottery (STL), which is sanctioned by the government, is being used by jueteng operators to evade arrest.
He said jueteng operators and their personnel often manage to evade raids and arrest by showing identification cards issued by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office to STL operators.
In response to Bartolome’s statements, Malacañang has ordered the gradual phase-out of STL, as existing contracts with STL operators would have to be evaluated first.
Several hours after Bartolome’s directive, composite police swooped on an alleged gambling den in La Trinidad, Benguet and arrested nine individuals, mostly from the lowlands.
PRO-Cor Information Officer Arvin Fabro said Magalong hailed the operation, which was led by C/Insp. Melchor Ong of the Benguet Provincial Investigation and Detective Management and S/Insp. Arnold Ventura of the La Trinidad Municipal Police Station.
The suspects are natives of Nueva Ecija and Pangasinan while the three others are from Benguet, according to the police report.
Police also seized assorted gaming paraphernalia and cash bets worth P5,820.