Stop jueteng, promote STL

THE latest marching order from Chief PNP Ronaldo ‘Bato’ dela Rosa to his police directors and chiefs: Wipe out illegal gambling in 15 days (August 15?)! or else…

That he gave a definite deadline for it clearly confirms that unlike illegal drugs, illegal gambling can be stopped by the police with a wave of his hands and those of his regional and provincial directors.

Unlike the war on drugs, where the police and narco enforcers have to deal with the financiers, peddlers and the users, the war on illegal gambling only requires the police to focus on only two targets – the financier and the collector. Bettors are not included.

And with Meridien Vista Gaming Corp.’s jai-alai off-fronton betting stations finally banished from the gambling horizon, hence, the job for the police should both be easier and difficult for the police.

Easy because the bet collectors need only to establish that they are using STL (Small town Lottery) system and numbers. Difficult because since the STL of PCSO has gone full swing without need for local government franchise and unless the appointed STL operators can clearly establish who are and who are not authorized bookies (kobradores), police will have no way of knowing whether the known jueteng lord’s networks are at work or the STL’s.

The word in the street is – local jueteng lords are already using using STL’s drawn numbers like they are parts of the network of STL. With the lines muddled, Chief Dela Rosa’s can only mean: Stop lotto’s and STL’s competition.

So, don’t be surprised if Chief Bato announces on August 15 that illegal gambling has completely stopped as ordered. The implementation is making us more curious about the arrangements reached with mayors and police chiefs.

Ozamiz on our minds

THE recent Pajarinog killings in Ozamiz City proved once more that one who lives by the gun dies by the gun. Mayor Reynaldo Pajarinog Sr. and his wife, Susan, died of bullet and grenade wounds together with 13 of their supporters and bodyguards. He was in the list of narco-politicians bared by President Duterte last year. Police, who served search warrants for gunrunning, said they fired back after they had been fired upon in a dawn operation at the house of the city executive.  The results of the paraffin tests on the slain Pajarinogs are proofs of it. Could it be possible that after keeping an armed group to protect the family’s activities in bank robbery, kidnap-for-ransom, drug-dealing and Mafia-style protection for money, they would surrender without firing a shot to fend off intruders like the police?  Perish the thought.

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