Six illegal gambling machines were seized by the elements of Talomo police and Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG) in Purok 21, Ideal, Bago Aplaya, Talomo District on Monday.
Lt. Col. Ronald Lao, the commander of Talomo Police Station, said the machines were found at the house owned by Thelma Abayata Pasayloon.
The operation was carried out after the station received reliable information from a concerned citizen that the house was used as a gambling den. The alleged owner was not present during the operation.
However, the suspect may still face a charge for violation of PD 1602 through regular filing.
On Monday, Brig. Gen. Filmore B. Escobal, the regional police director, reiterated the “one-strike policy” during the press briefing at the regional headquarters.
He also mentioned that aside from relief, the station commanders may also face administrative case if they allow illegal gambling to proliferate in their respective jurisdictions.
Lao said that under the one-strike policy, station commanders who ignore and fail to act on the blatant illegal gambling operations in their areas will be relieved from their posts immediately.
It can be recalled that the declaration of the war on illegal gambling is based on the Executive Order No. 13 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte, who directed the PNP and other law enforcement agencies to intensify the campaign on illegal gambling and “act on the request of gambling regulatory authorities to investigate and put an end to illegal gambling activities in their respective jurisdiction.”
Meanwhile, Lao is hoping that the seized illegal gambling machines will serve as a warning to all operators. “Illegal gambling machines are luring young bettors, mostly students who cut classes and waste their money on it, instead of focusing on school,” he said.