War vs illegal gambling will not be bloody, Bato assures
The war against illegal gambling will not be as bloody as the government’s brutal anti-drug campaign, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa assured on Monday.
But Dela Rosa warned that the police would be unforgiving against governors, mayors and other local chief executives who will be resisting the crackdown on illegal gambling, especially in the provinces.
“Gigyerahin natin sila kung matigas ang ulo nila. Kasama sila kung haharangin nila ‘yung anti-llegal gambling campaign (We will wage a war against them if they are hardheaded. They will be included if they would block the anti-llegal gambling campaign),” Dela Rosa, referring to the politicians, said in a press conference at Camp Crame on Monday.
The chief of the 165,000-strong PNP earlier announced the government’s all-out war against illegal gambling as it temporarily suspended its fight against drugs, which had claimed the lives of 2,500 drug suspects and 4,500 more classified as deaths under investigations.
Dela Rosa said that no killings will be made because players in the gambling industry, unlike in the drug trade, are “in their right mind.”
“Hindi bloody kasi hindi naman sira-ulo ‘yung mga end players ng gambling, unlike sa drugs na wala sa tamang pag-iisip. Kaya nagkakaroon ng patayan dahil pumapatay nga sila kahit hindi sila threatened. Ito naman mga illegal gambling pera pera lang ito. Hindi ito kailangan magbuwis ng buhay,” he said.
(It won’t be bloody because end players of gambling are in their right mind, unlike those involved in drugs who are not in their right mind. There killings because involved in drugs kill even without being threatened. With illegal gambling, it only involves money. No life is needed to be sacrificed.)
Even before President Rodrigo Duterte issued Executive Order 13 intensifying the PNP and other law enforcement agencies’ fight against illegal gambling, Dela Rosa said they have already identifed the high-value targets and gambling financiers in the business.
He reiterated that the police will dismantle all forms of illegal gambling, adding that illicit lotteries are “more widespread” than drugs.
“Mas widespread yang gambling kaysa sa drugs. Kung ang drugs, 92 percent ng barangays ay drug affected baka 100 percent ‘yung illegal gambling affected (Gambling is more widespread compared to drugs. If 92 percent of villages are affected by drugs, perhaps 100 percent of villages are affected by illegal gambling),” Dela Rosa said.
The PNP will concentrate on stamping out the illegal numbers game, including jueteng, he added.
The Directorate for Operations of the PNP is already crafting a campaign plan against illicit gambling but Dela Rosa said police in the regions will start conducting “one-time-big-time” operations against illegal gamblers.
In his earlier statement, the PNP chief noted the importance of weeding out illegal gambling activities because “if left unchecked, it breeds corruption and may mutate into other forms of organized crime, including drug-trafficking, illegal vices, money-laundering and kidnapping.”/rga