Friday, April 21, 2017

A “demolition job” was how a police official described the allegation that the police were lax on illegal gambling.

Those engaged in illegal gambling were the ones behind such claims, according to Superintendent Noel Polines, chief of the Bacolod City Police Office’s (BCPO) Operations and Plans Unit.

A handwritten “white paper” Task Force Crusader deputy commander John Chiong found in his mailbox claimed the Police Regional Office 18 (PRO-18), including its unit here, was not acting on illegal gambling.

In fact, according to the document, two high-ranking police officials in Negros were acting as illegal gambling “protectors.”

Polines belied this. Nonstop police operations against illegal gambling affected operators big and small. Now such operators are destroying the names of the two top police officials, he stressed.

Panay News is withholding the names of the police officials mentioned in the “white paper” pending further verification.

By making “false statements,” those behind the allegations were destroying not only the names of the concerned officials but the entire police organization, said Polines, also the BCPO spokesperson.

Proof that the police are doing their job is the high number of illegal gambling-related arrests, Polines said.

Sixty-two anti-illegal gambling operations were held in this city from January to April 20, resulting in the arrest of 164 suspects and the confiscation of P13,421.25 alleged bet money, BCPO records showed.

For the entire 2016, a total of 78 operations resulted in the arrest of 248 people and the confiscation of P11,157.80 cash.

These figures give the public an idea how the police work, Polines said.

He clarified that they welcome comments and criticisms from the unsatisfied public, as these will point to them which aspect of their work needs improvement.

Polines stressed that every day they have illegal gambling-related arrests.

“We did not stop our campaign against illegal gambling, as well as against illegal drugs,” the BCPO official stressed.

While they swoop down on all sorts of illegal gambling, Polines said they give particular attention to jai-alai.

“Wala kami nagapili kon sin-o ang dakpon (We don’t choose who to catch),” he stressed.

Polines said they already identified the people behind illegal gambling in the city but were further surveilling and investigating them.

The “white paper” came with a jai-alai tipster printed by Meridien Vista Gaming Corp. of Sitio Racal, Barangay Rapuli, Sta. Ana, Cagayan and titled “Helping Hands.”

In light of the information from Chiong, the Philippine National Police national headquarters is now investigating the areas of responsibility of the PRO-18 and the BCPO, the Task Force Crusaders leader said./PN


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