Some concerned citizens and the Catholic sector have expressed dismay that local authorities and the police are reportedly playing “deaf and blind” to the proliferation of sugal lupa, an illegal gambling operation in some Central Luzon provinces.
Earlier, a Catholic priest denounced the illegal gambling operation wherein children 8-15 years old are frequently seen playing sugal lupa inside a public fun center popularly known as perya somewhere in Bulacan.
A photo was taken while these children were in the act of betting in a “color game” and published in The Manila Times nearly two weeks ago.
This prompted Fr. Nick Lalog 2nd, chairman of the Diocesan Commission on Social Communication of the Diocese of Malolos, to call the attention of the local government particularly the Philippine National Police (PNP) to immediately stop the continued spread of illegal gambling in Regions of 1, 2 and 4 particularly in Central Luzon (Region 3) and even in the National Capital Region (NCR or Metro Manila).
After it was exposed, Police Regional Office 3 chief Supt. Aaron Aquino told The Manila Times that he already directed the provincial directors to take appropriate action regarding the matter but as of now the fun centers in Angeles, Bataan, Pampanga and Bulacan are still operating.
A reliable source, a former “payola” collector in Region 3 and Region 44 who requested anonymity, said sugal lupa, along with illegal slot machines known as video karera, loteng, bookies, pula-puti, sakla and tupada, are all going full blast at the amusement centers.
The Manila Times learned that illegal gambling in amusement centers, popularly known as peryahan in the regions has been proliferating allegedly with knowledge of police, barangay (village) and local officials.
Expressing the dismay of concerned citizens about alleged inaction of authorities on the matter, Lalog said, “The police must take appropriate and immediate action to end the problem, the early addiction of minors to gambling must be immediately stopped.”