GenSan police chief ‘refuses’ to close STL

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Senior Supt. Romeo Ruel Berango, the police chief of General Santos City, allegedly continues to refuse to implement an order of the mayor to stop the operation of the Small Town Lottery (STL) backed by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

Mayor Ronnel Rivera had issued the cease and desist order against the STL operation last week after the City Council passed a resolution stopping its operation in the absence of official concurrence.

City Councilor Franklin Gacal Jr., chairman of the council’s committee on games and amusements, said all STL outlets in the city have been operating illegally and have even been used as fronts of an illegal numbers game.

“That is why we are requiring the STL managed by the Trento Gaming Corp. which has a PCSO franchise, to have the city council’s concurrence before they can operate.”


“We want Trento to be transparent with the city council. They have not even submitted a daily financial report to the city even if we know for a fact that they collect almost P3million a day and the city does not get the 3.75 percent of its share based on provisions of the PCSO Charter,” Gacal added.

He accused the chief of police of receiving P280,000 a week from STL management.

Gacal said he already filed criminal and administrative charges against Berango before the Office of the Ombudsman for his refusal to implement the order.

When asked for comment, the chief of police stood firm on his previous statement that there are still pending legal matters between PCSO-STL being run by Trento Gaming Corp. and the city council to reconcile before replying to Gacal’s accusations.

The PNP legal affairs division said the PCSO-backed STL operations in General Santos City are covered by national laws and their local franchise under Trento is not required to secure a permit from the city government.
About 60 STL outlets in the city continue to operate despite the mayor’s cease and desist order.

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