18 STL ‘ushers’, bettors nabbed in 10 days in Cebu City
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Policemen in Cebu City have arrested 18 illegal bet collectors or “ushers” and bettors of the Small Town Lottery (STL), a numbers game, in 10 days of anti-illegal gambling operations.
The 10-day period covers April 8 to April 18 or since Mayor Edgardo Labella ordered the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) to investigate reports about the proliferation of STL in the city, said Lieutenant Colonel Wilbert Parilla, deputy city director for operations of CCPO in a press briefing on Monday, April 19.
STL is illegal in Cebu City since July 26, 2019 when the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office did not allow any STL outlets to operate in the city.
Labella also asked the CCPO to submit a weekly report on their progress on their operations against illegal gambling.
Police Colonel Josefino Ligan, CCPO chief, later had an emergency meeting with police station commanders where he emphasized the new order to intensify the operations against illegal gambling.
Ligan also reminded the station commanders to coordinate with their respective barangay officials and the PCSO.
“And of course, with the coordination sa atong PCSO (Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office) kay ang PCSO mao man gyud na sila ang implementing body when it comes to number games in the city,” Ligan added.
(And of course, with the coordination of the PCSO because they are the implementing body when it comes to numbers games in the city.)
He also said that they were not only focusing on STLs but also other illegal gambling activities such as mahjong, tong-its, and illegal cockfighting.
“Kining mahjong, within the premises of your houses nga pampatagal stress lang, okay rana, pero ug kung gihimo ng sugalanan na gyud, duha na ka lamesa, dagko na ang pusta, nag tong-its pa, mag card games pa, so definitely kana, gukdon nato,” Ligan added.
(For mahjong, if it is within the premises of your houses and you are playing it just to relieve stress, then that is okay. However, if what is being done is already gambling where two tables are now used and players are putting down big bets, then there are people playing tong-its, a card game, nearby, so definitely we will go after them.)
He said that they had been ordered to submit weekly and monthly reports of these activities particulary in STLs to the city government, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas.
Ligan said that Mayor Labella ordered them to intensify their anti-illegal gambling operations especially against STL on April 8, but the mayor told them to submit weekly reports on their progress last April 17.
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