BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Four alleged illegal gambling operators in Negros Occidental have been charged in court by the National Bureau of Investigation, for violation of PD 1602, as amended by RA 9287, known as an Act increasing penalties for illegal numbers game.
NBI-Bacolod chief Atty. Renoir Baldovino yesterday identified the respondents as Joevel Espora and Liczl Rentoy, both of Sipalay City, as well as Dinah Katalbas Surigao of Brgy. Payao, Binalbagan, and Leizel Trembol, with aliases of Val, Mookey and Nonoy.
Baldovino said that the filing of charges against the four suspects was due to the cooperation extended by owners of houses in Sipalay City and Binalbagan, that were rented for use as remittance centers of “Vikings Peryahan ng Bayan.”
If found guilty by the court, Baldovino said they will be facing 12 to 14 years imprisonment.
He however admitted that they have no sufficient evidence yet to include the alleged financier of Vikings Peryahan ng Bayan in the complaints.
NBI investigations showed that the illegal gambling outfit bet solicitors reportedly collect bets for STL-like (Small Town Lottery) number combinations from the public.
Baldovino stressed that only the Super Lucky Beagler Inc. is authorized by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office to operate STL in Negros Occidental.
On the other hand, NBI operatives have also arrested a bet solicitor in Brgy. 31, Bacolod City, on August 13, for using a fake STL identification card.
Baldovino identified the arrested suspect as Gilberto Onde, from whose possession was recovered P4,121 in cash bets.
Under the provisions of RA 9287, Baldovino said anyone involved in the operations of illegal STL, including arrested bettors, who are convicted of such an offense, will be imprisoned from 30 to 90 days.
The staff, owner of the lot or building may face six to eight years of imprisonment; eight to 10 years for bet solicitors; 10 to 12 years for coordinator and supervisor; 12 to 14 years for the maintainer, manager and operator; 14 years to 16 years to financier; 16 to 20 years to protectors, as well perpetual disqualification of holding public office for those connected to government, he added.*