PRO-6 reiterates one-strike policy on illegal gambling

By Jennifer P. Rendon

The Police Regional Office (PRO)-6 reminded field commanders to intensify the campaign against all forms of illegal gambling following reports of bookies operations in Western Visayas,

In a memorandum, Colonel Arnold Thomas Ibay, PRO-6 deputy regional director for operations (DRDO), noted the reported proliferation of illegal gambling, particularly number games, in the region.

“This office will implement One Strike Policy to all unit commanders,” the memorandum stated.

It added that “anyone who has no knowledge about the illegal operation of number games and upon positive operation by the Regional Intelligence Division (RID) Validating Teams, the chief of police or station commander will be immediately relieved.”

“Thus, for two positive operations in a province or city, the provincial or city director will be administratively relieved.”

Ibay noted several reports reaching PRO-6 about bookies operations.

He also ordered all provincial and city directors and chiefs of police to coordinate with Authorized Agent Corporation (AAC), or the licensed Small Town Lottery (STL) operators, in their respective areas of responsibility on reports of alleged illegal numbers games.

Ibay issued the memorandum following command guidance of Brigadier General Leo Francisco, Western Visayas police chief.

Based on the PNP record as of Feb. 23, 2023, all areas of the region have AACs:

* 7 Aces Games and Amusement Corporation – Province of Iloilo excluding Iloilo City;

* 888 Good Fortune Gaming Venture Corp. – Antique and Capiz provinces;

* Great Lion Gaming Ventures Incorporated – Aklan Province;

* Iloilo Small Town Lottery Gaming Corporation – Guimaras and Iloilo City;

* Super Lucky Beagler, Inc. (1) – Negros Occidental excluding Bacolod City; and

* Super Lucky Beagler, Inc. (2) – Bacolod City.

Major Mary Grace Borio, PRO-6 spokesperson, said that the memorandum was very clear: it is intended for all field commanders.

“The one-strike policy is for chiefs of police or station commanders. That has been a directive even before. The memorandum was just a reiteration,” she said.

And for the record, Colonel Ronaldo Palomo, Governor Arthur Defensor’s choice for the next Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) chief, was not even a recipient of the memorandum because he has yet to assume post.

“We also enjoined the public to report to us if they have information about bookies operation,” Borio said, as she assured that the PRO-6 will act on it.

An AAC in Western Visayas has complained of “lower sales” recently. But they have yet to provide evidence if bookies operators are to blame for their reduced income.