By Jennifer P. Rendon
The Police Regional Office (PRO-6) admitted that bookies or illegal numbers game operations still continue in some parts of Western Visayas amid the so-called all out war against illegal gambling.
The slang for “bookmaker,” a bookie is someone who facilitates gambling, mostly on sports events.
But in the local scenes, bookies operations are usually based on draw results of the legalized Small Town Lottery (STL).
Police Brigadier General Rene Pamuspusan, Western Visayas police chief, said that these operations are rampant in the city and province of Iloilo and Aklan.
As to the operators of these rackets, “we have a watch list of these individuals. They are the same persons.”
When pressed on the identities of the financiers, Pamuspusan said they are former police officers, politicians, and wealthy individuals who could afford to shell out money for illegal game operations.
“Apparently, there are really individuals who keep on insisting on doing something illegal,” he said.
But Pamuspusan clarified that there’s no organized group operating in the region even as he vowed to go hard against bookies operations.
He also explained why only bet collectors have been arrested, but never the financiers.
“We’re basing our arrest on evidence. We have to establish evidence of participation of those behind them – financiers and table managers – before arrest is made,” he said.
Aside from the local police, Pamuspusan said they will also tap the PNP Regional Intelligence Division (RID) and PNP Regional Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG).
For the month of January, PRO-6 arrested 355 individuals in 100 operations.
But Pamuspusan vowed to arrest more suspects in the coming weeks.