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Cops nab card players, coin tossers, ‘jueteng’ collectors—and still need a map

/ 01:20 AM February 18, 2017

To step up its campaign against illegal gambling, as directed by the Duterte administration after waging a bloody war on drugs, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said it is drawing up a map to better pinpoint targets in Metro Manila.

NCRPO chief Director Oscar Albayalde said he had ordered his personnel to coordinate with the justice and interior departments to “create an accurate mapping and tracing” of illegal gambling hubs in the metropolis.

“Along with our war on drugs, we did not stop our campaign against illegal gambling. However, this time our focus will be on illegal gambling,” Albayalde said, noting that the NCRPO had arrested 341 persons for illegal gambling since he took over as chief in July.

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The offenders were arrested for engaging in “jueteng,” unauthorized cock fights, “cara y cruz” (coin toss), online gambling, “video karera,” and so-called “fruit games,” Albayalde said in a statement on Friday.

NCRPO’s intelligence unit led by Chief Insp. Jojit Jumawan arrested five men on Feb. 14 for alleged involvement in jueteng, an underground numbers game that has thrived for decades despite repeated crackdowns, and whose bigtime operators are known to have police and elected officials in their pockets.

The NCRPO said it confiscated bundles of paper listing bets, five pens, and P2,000 in cash from the five suspects.

In Quezon City, the police have arrested at least 12 persons for various forms of gambling
—coin toss, “PBA ending” and “loteng”—over the past week. Seized from them were bets amounting to P1,731—including three 25-centavo coins used for cara y cruz.

The suspects were charged for violation of Presidential Decree No. 1602, an antigambling law issued by then President Ferdinand Marcos in 1978.—PHILIP C. TUBEZA, JHESSET O. ENANO

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