DAGUPAN CITY, Pangasinan: The reported rampant operation of illegal gambling in various barangay (villages) of Dagupan City and four municipalities here were simultaneously stopped on orders of Police Provincial Director and Senior Supt. Ronald Oliver-Lee.
The move came after The Manila Times published a photo and the monitoring report submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte by the Citizens Movement Against Crime, Corruption, Illegal Drugs and Gambling Inc. led by Salvador Singson-de Guzman.
On Thursday, the Dagupan City chief of police, Supt. Neil Miro, told The Manila Times that he immediately ordered the closure of two peryahan (mini-carnival) in Barangay Bonuan Boquig and Bonuan Binloc where drop-ball and color games are being played.
Miro explained drop-ball and color games inside the mini-carnivals owned by Barangay Chairman Boyet Magat of Parayao village in San Carlos City are not continuing, contrary to reports of de Guzman and his group.
He said Magat stopped his operation upon learning that President Rodrigo Duterte issued Executive Order 13 on February 2 to strengthen the fight against illegal gambling.
The same carnival games in Mangaldan town and in villages of Talogtog in Maasin town were also stopped after authorities received an instruction from Lee for them to do so.
In Malasiqui town, 37 mini-carnivals set up in the villages were also closed.
The Asingan chief of police, Chief Insp. Junmar Gonzales, belied the monitoring report on the ongoing operation of illegal gambling in Barangay Carusucan Norte, contrary to the claim of de Guzman’s group.
Gonzales said he has ordered the closure of at least five mini carnivals in the villages including Carusucan Norte since February 11.
But de Guzman and his group stand by their report, saying they took pictures of the residents in Carusucan Norte while playing drop ball on the night of February 25.
“We have [pieces of]evidence to substantiate our report on the illegal gambling in Dagupan City and the four towns of Pangasinan and I am urging the police officers to be careful in issuing their statements against our report,” he added.
On the night of March 1, after the story on the illegal gambling came out in The Manila Times, the group of de Guzman and some media practitioners in Region 1 checked if the operation of drop ball and color games actually stopped.
No more illegal gambling operations were found during the monitoring.