‘One-Time, Big-Time’ drive vs illegal gambling in PH underway

February 19, 2020

IN line with Philippine National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa’s ‘no-take’ policy, all 17 police regional offices have now stepped-up their drive versus all forms of illegal number games including the banned ‘video-karera’ which has long been associated with drug dependents on a ‘trip.’

In Metro Manila, National Capital Region Police Office director, Major General Debold M. Sinas has ordered his men to target all operators of illegal number games and other vices as well as their players.

Sinas said he has instructed all 5 NCRPO districts to conduct ‘simultaneous enhanced managing police operations’ previously known as ‘One-Time, Big-Time’ operations against personalities behind the operations of all illegal gambling activities in the metropolis including ‘video-karera,’  illegal cockfighting, ‘sakla,’ jueteng and lotteng.’

The NCRPO chief said that illegal gambling machines and paraphernalia including ‘VK’ monitors complete with their mother boards seized during their operations will be immediately destroyed.

The NCRPO chief cited anti-illegal gambling laws specifically Republic Act 9287 and Presidential Decree 1602 as well as different city and municipal ordinances as the basic behind their operations.

The law specifically prohibits gambling in public including ‘bingo, jueteng, bookies, ‘sabong,’ EZ-2, Lotteng and VK.’

Illegal numbers is described as any form of illegal gambling activity which uses numbers of combinations thereof as factors in giving out jackpots. The law identifies ‘jueteng, masiao and Last Two’ where the winning combination is derived from the last two numbers of the first prize of the winning Sweepstakes ticket as among the illegal number games.

The NCRPO drive, according to Sinas will target both bettors, personnel or staff of illegal numbers game operation, collectors, maintainers, managers or operators, financiers or capitalists as well as ‘protectors or coddlers’ regardless of their status, rank and affiliation.

RA 9287 imposes a 30-day to as much as a 90-day imprisonment for bettors; 6-years to as much as 8-years for personnel or staff of illegal numbers game operators; 8-years to 10-years in jail for collectors or agents; 10 years to 12-years imprisonment for coordinators, controllers or supervisors; 12 to 14-years in jail for maintainers, manager or operators; and 14 to 16 years for financiers or capitalists.

Protectors or coddlers from the government also face a 16- to 20-year prison term and as much as P5 million in fine and perpetual absolute disqualification from public office upon conviction.

PD 1602 increased the penalties for horse-racing bookies, cockfighting, game-fixing, slot machines and jai-alai bookies to discourage or stamp out those illegal activities.

The same law says that the penalty of prision correccional in its medium period or a fine ranging from P1,000 to P6,000, and in case of recidivism, the penalty of prision mayor in its medium period or a fine ranging from P5,000 to P10,000 shall be imposed upon any person found guilty of directly or indirectly engaging in any illegal or unauthorized activities or games of cockfighting, jueteng, jai alai or horse racing to include bookie operations and game fixing, numbers, bingo and other forms of lotteries; cara y cruz, pompiang and the like; 7-11 and any game using dice; black jack, lucky nine, poker and its derivatives, monte, baccarat, cuajao, pangguingue and other card games; paik que, high and low, mahjong, domino and other games using plastic tiles and the likes; slot machines, roulette, pinball and other mechanical contraptions and devices; dog racing, boat racing, car racing and other forms of races, basketball, boxing, volleyball, bowling, pingpong and other forms of individual or team contests to include game fixing, point shaving and other machinations; banking or percentage game, or any other game scheme, whether upon chance or skill, wherein wagers consisting of money, articles of value or representative of value are at stake or made.

It also says that any person who shall knowingly permit any form of illegal gambling to be carried on in inhabited or uninhabited place or in any building, vessel or other means of transportation owned or controlled by him; or in a place which already has a reputation of being a gambling area; or if the place is a public or government building or barangay hall, shall be punished by prision correccional in its maximum period and a fine of P6,000.