BACOLOD CITY, May 30 (PNA) — Some jai alai operators in northern district of Negros Occidental temporarily stopped their bet collection following the massive campaign against illegal gambling in the province.
Acting Police Provincial Director Senior Supt. Ricardo de la Paz disclosed this in an interview with the local press Thursday.
The operations are in response to the May 22 declaration of all-out-war against illegal numbers game by reelected Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr.
“We have recieved reports that some jai alai operators in northern Negros temporarily stopped while we were in pursuit of the criminals (sic),” De La Paz said.
De La Paz added these illegal gambling operators may have been forced to freeze their operation since the bail of their arrested bet collectors are getting costly.
De La Paz said each of the arrested bet collectors are permitted to post bail ranging mostly from P10,000-20,000.
The temporary stoppage, however, cannot stop the policemen from hunting the “big fish” in the illegal gambling industry, he emphasized.
Since the declaration, Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office has conducted 30 positive operations against illegal gambling that led to the arrest of 32 personalities, mostly bet collectors.
In the metro alone, the apprehended persons were Ruperto Villanueva, 48 and Junel Muscado, 20.
Villanueva is a resident of Dahlia St. Patricia Homes Subd., Barangay Granada, while the latter is a native of Purok Herba Buena, Barangay Villamonte.
Earlier, De La Paz disclosed that some suspected prominent personalities allegedly involved in illegal operation of jai alai are now under close surveillance.
De La Paz said they have identified some of these suspects as financiers, while others were acting as protectors and major corridors.
“We are maintaining a watchlist of financiers and operators but we cannot disclose it yet for it might jeopardize our operations,” De la Paz said.
De la Paz added that they are now on the process of case build-up and if evidences warrant, they will file appropriate charges against the major personalities behind the illegal gambling.
To pin down the “big fish” in illegal gambling, De la Paz said they have to get the trusted men of these suspected personalities that can act as “prosecution witnesses”.
“We have to get their trusted men (to get to the bottom of this problem),” De la Paz stressed.