Sunday, April 24, 2005

Lomibao orders regional PNP chiefs to intensify fight against jueteng

Director General Arturo Lomibao, Philippine National Police chief, on Sunday ordered PNP regional directors in Luzon to intensify the fight against the illegal numbers game jueteng.

Lomibao said a task force that will go after illegal gambling operations in the country has been formed and will be headed by Chief Supt. Ricardo Dapat, chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

Local Government Secretary Angelo Reyes issued a memorandum on April 20 reminding the PNP to intensify its campaign against all forms of illegal gambling.

Vice President Noli de Castro also called for a massive campaign against jueteng after Dagupan-Lingayen Archbishop Oscar Cruz revealed that rampant jueteng operations were ongoing all over Luzon and some parts of the Visayas.

Cruz earlier chided de Castro for turning down an invitation to take part in a press briefing that would discuss the government's anti-jueteng campaign.

In his directive, Lomibao ordered regional directors of police offices in Regions 1 to 5, the Cordillera and Metro Manila to intensify their "all-out campaign in view of persistent reports of increasing jueteng operations."

Lomibao reminded police chiefs that previous policies of command responsibility is still in effect.

He said "all violators will be dealt with" and bettors will be arrested and penalized under Republic Act 9297 that increases penalties for the operation of illegal numbers games.

Lomibao said that under the law, people who patronizes illegal gambling can be jailed from 30 to 90 days.

"The law also states that protectors or illegal gambling coddlers will also be penalized with 12 to 14 years of imprisonment," he said.

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