PNP nets 16 in anti-jueteng operation by using SAF

In a not very usual way, the Philippine National Police (PNP) scored against the illegal numbers game, jueteng, by employing the Special Action Force (SAF) in an anti-jueteng operation in Barangay San Ignacio, San Pablo, Laguna.

Charges for violation of Republic Act 9287 (An Act Increasing the Penalties for Illegal Numbers Games, Amending Certain Provisions Of Presidential Decree 1602) were filed against 16 persons, allegedly "cabos" (table managers) and "cobradors" (collectors)

Facts of the case

"On November 25, 2010 at around 9:18 p.m. at Bgy. San Ignacio, San Pablo City, Laguna, elements from the PNP Special Action Force conducted operation against personalities involved in the illegal numbers game that led in the arrest of sixteen suspects and confiscation of gambling/jueteng paraphernalia such as papelitos, ticklers, calculators, stamping pads and ballpens as well as cash money amounting to P13,650.75," police said.

The information, which came from the Force Intelligence and Investigation Division, was that a "bola" was to take place between 9 - 9:30 p.m. in the area.

SAF Public Information Office chief Police Inspector Marlu Conag said the SAF unit planned and prepared for the operation. It was "able to insert and proceed to the remote and secluded gambling den undetected and was able to effect arrest while the suspects were in actual operation of the said illegal activity."

The operation and evidence collection process was done in the presence of the media, barangay chairman and councilors of the area.

Conag said the success of the operation "manifests the flexibility of the unit wherein it an also be effective in other operations." The SAF, he said, is "committed in supporting the government's thrust in the crackdown of this illegal activity."

Meantime, Police Sr. Insp. Bryan Gregorio of the Public Information Office in the PNP Headquarters in Camp Crame, said it can be expected the one-strike policy of PNP chief DIrector-General Raul Bacalzo will be implemented as far as local chiefs of police are concerned.

The 16 suspects were brought to the Department of Justice on Friday afternoon, escorted by PNP SAF personnel, and were subjected to inquest proceedings.