Huwebes, Mayo 11, 2017

Hardship looms for politicos, cops as Rody wages war on "Jueteng"


When I and my co radio host dropped by recently at the mess hall of a police station of a first class town in Pangasinan, the policemen there were eating silently their lunch composed of sinigang na pork and fried galungung.

Image result for small town lottery
WAR ON GAMBLING: Philippine Charity Sweepstakes' Small Town Lottery
 (STL) gets more territories from Atong Ang's jueteng liked game's Jai-Alai.

Since time immemorial, these viands and their equivalents are available for FREE from breakfast to supper in the more than one hundred police personnel in this town alone.
Thanks to gambling in the province where a percentage share to the chief of police and the mayor include also the free meals and even operational funds of the financially hard up cops.
Pangasinan, a mammoth province, has 44 towns and 4 cities’ police stations.
But  President Rodrigo Duterte signed on February 2 this year Executive Order (EO) No. 13 which seeks to "intensify" the government's fight against illegal gambling.
In case the Department of Justice succeed in stopping the Meridiane Vista Gaming Corporation (MVGC) - a jueteng like number gambling game – these free meals for the police – whose lower ranked received  a government salary of P21,000 a month and its highest ranked a Superintendent, equivalent of a Lieutenant Colonel in the military, got more than a hundred fifty thousand that includes his monthly salary and monthly share from gambling - would come to an end.
Can the determined Chairman Jose Jorge Corpuz and General Manager Alexander Balutan, both PMYer, of the Philippine Charity Sweepstake Office (PCSO) and the gung-ho Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aquirre stop Atong Ang’s MVGC in controlling the ten billion pesos a year number games in the country that did not pay a tax to the Bureau of Internal Revenue?

Last week, Pangasinan Inquest Prosecutor Gil Rosario dismissed the case filed by the PCSO and the National Bureau of Investigation against 57 persons apprehended in Urbiztondo, Pangasinan by the National Bureau of Investigation.
Some media men assailed Inquest Prosecutor Rosario on his outright dismissal of the case.
My poser:
What if Rosario resolved in favor of the NBI personnel led by Pangasinan NBI Chief Lawyer Dante Bono-an and submitted the case for the judge to try it under the gambling laws of the country?
Would the Court of Appeals, where MVGC has a pending injunction for six years (I smell something fishy here, injunction, son of a gun, for six years? –MCO), charge with contempt Chairman Jose Jorge Corpuz, the prosecutor, and the judge?
Would future raids on the dens of the MVGC not only in Pangasinan but in other 13 provinces where Meridiane and Ang have bases end with the same conclusion on what the Pangasinan prosecutor had done to the 57 cobradores?
Here’s the documents submitted by MVGC lawyer Liwawa Siapno that resulted to the dismissal recently of the government case against Jai-Alai played like jueteng, an illegal number game, in Pangasinan:
Court of Appeals resolution on Meridien Vista Gaming Corporation versus Honorable Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, et. Al; Articles of Incorporation of MVGC; Certificate of Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) authorizing MVGC to operate; Certificate of Registration issued by Securities and Exchange Commission; Mayor’s Permit in Urbiztondo, Pangasinan; and Certificates of Employment of the respondents.

But wait, susmariosep, a source at the provincial prosecutor’s office told me that Prosecutor Rosario was called by Justice Secretary Aguirre in Manila and “sinabon” daw siya sa pag dismiss ng kaso ng NBI versus Meridiane.
Just this morning, I met a retired police general, a former Jueteng Lord, and a Pangasinan mayor.
The retired cop and the Gambling Lord respectively told me in a social function that Ang’s Jai-Alai was already dead because the Small Town Lottery (STL) of the Golden Go Rapid Gaming Corporation (GGRGC) (the local franchisee in three million populated Pangasinan) replaced it.
“For about one week, Jai-Alai operation has been suspended in Pangasinan,” the former jueteng personality told me and my media companion.
“But it has a six years injunction case at the C.A? What if Atong Ang would file a TRO against the PCSO and GGRGC officials and personnel? Injunction at the C.A means semblance of legality for the Jai-Alai,” I posed too to him.
He did not answer.
But he told me he and some pals are running already the STL in Pangasinan.
The retired general said that local gambling maintainers in a city in Pangasinan had squabbles because some operators continue to run Meridiane while other enterprising individuals run bookies and guerilla jueteng operations.
10 towns and cities continue to run bookies and guerrilla,” another source told me.

When I and my radio co host Harold Barcelona bumped into a mayor today he told us he and the chief of police (COP), a Superintendent, had tête-à-tête on how to confront the lurking shutting out of the multi-million peso a month payolas and intelegensia given by MVGC to the politicians and the police.

Here are some of the main excerpts of the two PCSO letters addressed to the mayor and signed by General Manager Alexander Balutan and Editha R.  Romero, PCSO Pangasinan Branch's OIC Manager:

“The STL (Small Town Lottery) is the only legal and authorized number games nationawide, and the PCSO AACs are the only entities or persons authorized to operate and conduct STL in their respective areas of operation”.
The main objectives of STL that was launched in 2006 and that started to operate in the humongous province Pangasinan last April 18, 2017:
a)      To raise additional funds for PCSO’s health programs, medical assistance and services, and charities of national character;
b)      To provide funds to various local government units for their health program and medical assistance and services;
c)       To provide an alternative to illegal number game/operation and to aid their eradication; and
d)      To provide additional oppurtunities for employment”

It also provided that 3% of the gross sales of the STL in the town are given to the mayor.
Additonal revenues for the the game are also intended to benefit the Municipality of xxx by the allocation of 3.00% from the gross sales of the STL operation in your area of jurisdiction”.

With 3 percent to the mayor and the absence of the 2 percent and the 1 percent (used to be given by jueteng and Jai-Alai operators) to the COP and his men that numbered to 70, and the Vice Mayor and the nine councilors then hardship loom in the horizon.
The chief of police and those free three square meals a day given to cops, the vice mayor and the councilors who would now shell-out a sum to those indigents who queue at their houses and offices would be a real dilemma,” I told the mayor at his air conditioned office as the Beatles’ Hard Days Night song blared at the background.


Why this jueteng- like- game was grounded at the CA, SC?

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