2 dads behind ‘jai-alai-jueteng’ in Dagupan–Samson

JUETENG? No. Jai-alai? Yes.

Dagupan’s chief of police, Superintendent Romeo Caramat, admitted before the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) last week that, indeed, there is jai-alai off-fronton betting operation in the city, but it is not being used as a cover for the return of the jueteng, an illegal numbers game.

However, Councilor Luis Samson Jr. refuted the police chief’s contention saying reports from some barangay chairmen indicate that cobradores in Dagupan collect bets for three “bolas” daily – 12:00 noon, 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

Samson further bolstered his claim by pointing to two city councilors as “protectors” of the illegal numbers game that use jai-alai betting as a front.

He, however, did not identify the two but agreed to divulge the identities of the two councilors to the police chief in a closed-door meeting after the session.

Caramat was adamant that the police are closely monitoring the jai-alai betting operations in the city because of suspicions that it would be used for jueteng operations and their surveillance indicate that collection of bets are for jai-alai and not jueteng.

“It is this that we are really guarding because we do not want jai-alai to be used for jueteng,” Caramat said

The police chief informed the city council that the jai-alai off-fronton betting operation in the city is run by Meridien Vista Gaming Corporation backed by legally issued documents, including business and mayor’s permits, the same company that operates in other towns and cities in the province


Meanwhile, Superintendent Geraldo Roxas, spokesman of the Philippine National Police Provincial Office, announced the provincial police have stopped running after operators of jai alai until after the legality of its operation is resolved by the court.

Roxas said the preliminary injunction issued by the court in Cagayan restraining the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) and its agents, including the police, from closing off-fronton stations of Meredien.

“Until this issue is resolved, we have to stop doing operations against jai alai,” Roxas said.

However, Roxas said 40 persons have so far arrested and charged caught collecting bets not for jai alai but for jueteng.

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