Although the battle against illegal gambling in Negros Occidental seems to be uphill, Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. has ordered Senior Supt. Milko Lirazan to continue their campaign without let-up.
Even if you employ the whole Philippine National Police force, illegal gambling cannot be solved if the community will not cooperate, Marañon stressed.
The campaign against illegal gambling, especially in northern Negros, has netted 424 violators in about seven months, with about P4 million in bail posted by its financiers, records of the Negros Occidental Police Province Office show.
Marañon who said that Filipinos are gamblers, admitted, “You can minimize (illegal gambling), but you cannot eliminate it.”
What is important is that the campaign of the police continues, he said.
The government established the Small Town Lottery to counter illegal gambling, but jai-alai is still competing, Marañon said.
The poor are getting poorer by placing bets on jai-alai, he also said.
Lirazan had claimed earlier that several financiers of illegal gambling have temporarily stopped their operations, as they are having a hard time coming up with the funds to bail out their arrested personnel.
He said the average bail set by the court for those nabbed for illegal gambling is P10,000, with a bigger amount for repeat offenders.
Lirazan, however, said two big-time operators of jai-alai continue to defy their anti-illegal gambling operations.
Lirazan has asked the Special Operations Group of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office to focus its anti-illegal gambling operations on northern Negros, where it is reportedly financed by a relative of a politician.
The police withheld the identities of the two prominent personalities, believed to be the financiers of illegal gambling operations in Negros Occidental. The two are on the police watch list.
Lirazan said they have constantly been monitoring them, and building up cases against them.*GPB