The Valenzuela City Police arrested 80 people and filed 20 cases against them at the local court in violation of anti-illegal gambling laws and ordinances in the city.
PCINSP Rico Pangilinan of the city police disclosed the figures at the recent meeting of the City Peace and Order Council held at the City Hall. The figures he noted reflect on the city’s law enforcers’ accomplishment for the first three months of the year.
He said the numbers stemmed from their 154 crack down operations throughout the city for the first quarter. The official, reporting in behalf of city police chief PSSUPT Rhoderick Armamento, said Valenzuela is pulling all efforts to eliminate all forms of illegal gambling in the city.
Arrested suspects were caught red-handed playing “cara y cruz,” “pusoy” and “tupada” while a unit of video karera was also confiscated with a combined amount of P12,353 as gambling money.
Mayor REX Gatchalian formed Task Force on Illegal Gambling during the Anti-Illegal Gambling Summit at the Valenzuela City Astrodome on Feb. 21 to monitor illegal gambling in the city and to recommend measures with Liga ng mga Barangay president Coun. Ramon Encarnacion as action officer.
The mayor gave particular interest on sakla, a card game popular during wakes, and even released an executive order raising cash assistance to grieving families so they would not patronize the illegal form of gambling in exchange of profit-sharing.
Zeroing on “sakla’
Pangilinan further told council members - composed of city government executives, judiciary officials and representatives from different civilian sectors - that no arrest related to sakla was made during the said period because the police made proactive steps by visiting wakes and firmly reminding the people of the existing city ordinance.
Under Presidential Decree 1602, the minimal penalty for engaging in illegal gambling is prision correcional in its medium period, or a imprisonment within the range of six months and one year, and a fine of P400 to P2000. Government officials who act as maintainers of gambling schemes are meted out a penalty of prision mayor in its maximum period, or imprisonment for 12 years, and a fine of six thousand pesos.
Republic Act 9297, on the other hand, prescribes a minimum punishment of a 30-day imprisonment to those taking part in illegal numbers, such as jueteng, masiao, and last two. Government officials who run such games are meted out imprisonment ranging from 12 years and 1 day to 20 years and fine of PhP3 million to PhP5 million.
Mayor REX earlier said illegal gambling activities held in broad daylight risks attracting players among the youth, adding that gambling and drugs are the “agents of corruption” that undermine the family.