Strengthening of the anti-illegal gambling campaign in Bauko continues as a significant increase in anti-illegal gambling cases was seen during the first semester of 2023.
According to the crime statistics provided by the Bauko Municipal Police Station (BMPS), in comparison to the first semester of 2022, the number of anti-illegal gambling cases increased. Police are now being alert and efforts to decrease the cases are ongoing.
In an interview, Acting Chief of Police – BMPS, PCpt. Denio G. Pacio said that the “bookies” are one of the problems in the municipality. One of the differences between authorized personnel of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) between bookies are not employees of Small-Town Lottery (STL) and is therefore unauthorized by the PCSO to let people bet in jueteng.
Interventions against illegal gambling
Pacio stated that numerous interventions and programs are being conducted to combat illegal gambling in the municipality. This includes the dissemination of Information Educational Campaign (IEC) materials for the consumption of the general public. Partnership with the Local Government Unit and concerned offices is also being strengthened by the police.
Thus, the strict monitoring of barangay with rising cases of illegal gambling is also being strictly monitored. Pacio mentioned Barangay Abatan and Sinto as among the barangays with cases of illegal gambling.
Bookies in the barangay
In an interview, Junie B. Andres, Barangay Kagawad of Abatan, said that they saw bookies operating around the barangay. She also confirmed that some residents bet on the said activity. Andres also wishes for this practice to stop, especially for the good of minors.
“Masamang ehemplo ito [illegal gambling] sa mga bata na nakakakita sa kanila [gamblers]. Sila [mga nakakatanda] sana ang ehemplo sa community lalo na sa mga kabataan,” Andres reiterated.
Message to the public
Furthermore, Pacio assured the public by saying that, “hindi tayo tumitigil na mag-conduct ng information and education campaign at dialogue sa kanila [barangays].” He explained that their campaign aims to educate people on the negative effects of illegal gambling on individuals and the municipality as a whole.
Violations defined in Presidential Decree (PD) 1602 outline the violations and penalties for anyone caught directly or indirectly taking part in illegal game wagering. In its medium degree, a person caught faces a fine from 500 pesos to 2,000 pesos while a re-offender can face a fine of 1,000 pesos to 6,000 pesos. Illegal games, illegal bookie operations, and game-fixing schemes in any of the following games or similar operations are considered illegal and punishable by this law. By Carl Joshua R. Jumao-as