BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
More illegal numbers game bet collectors in Negros Occidental have been arrested and charged in court and were found to be using fake Small Town Lottery identification cards, as police intensified its campaign against those behind fake STL operations.
The police charged Myra Elle Guilermo for violating RA 9287, known as Act Increasing the Penalties for Illegal Numbers Game, before the Kabankalan Regional Trial Court, following her arrest in Candoni, Negros Occidental, for engaging in illegal gambling operations.
The apprehension of Guillermo yielded a fake STL identification card, 26 pieces of STL combination tickets and P321 in cash bets, police records show.
Another illegal bet solicitor identified as Jeorge Pasman was apprehended by the police on October 16 at Purok Chichirica, Brgy. East, Candoni, Negros Occidental.
The Candoni police, led by PCapt. Ronald Santillan, recovered a fake STL identification card, STL combination tickets, P168 in cash and three sachets of suspected shabu with a total weight estimated at one gram.
Pasman was charged before the Kabankalan RTC for violation of RA 9165, known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drug Act of 2002, police said.
Four alleged illegal gambling operators in Negros Occidental were recently 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.
The intensified campaign against fake STL operations in Candoni by the police and Mayor Ray Ruiz came in the wake of filing charges against operators of Vikings Peryahan ng Bayan, which rented houses for use as remittance centers, in their illegal activities in Binalbagan and Sipalay City.
Police and NBI said that only the Super Lucky Beagler Inc. is authorized by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office to operate STL in Negros Occidental.
Under the provisions of RA 9287, anyone involved in the operation 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.*