This week, the Philippines National Police (PNP) yet again intensified its battle against illegal gambling. Unlike standard stereo volume, which measured intensity of sound from 1 to 10, this has been the 87th press release issued by PNP which speaks of the ‘intensification’ of the campaign against illegal gambling over the past decade.
The target this time was the dreaded numbers racquet, or ‘swertres’ which in some parts of the world is called Pick-3 lotto when it’s operated by the government. Bingo Milyonaryo, a standard bingo game beloved by residents is also under assault. Foreign based online bingo games in Philippines have not been targeted.
Dumaguette City was the focal point with sixty two separate raids conducted throughout the province.
According to online gambling news in Philippines, practically the entire nation of Philippines enjoys these form of illegal gambling, so police had little to show for their efforts.
PNP Provincial Director Sr. Supt Colonel Rey Lyndon Lawas proudly reported to the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) that over the ‘first semester’ of 2011, 24 operators, 51 runners and 36 gamblers were arrested.
Colonel Lawas has promised to double the manpower which he is sure will put a serious dent in the illegal numbers game. Conservative estimates put the total number of runners in the thousands and the number of illegal gamblers in the hundreds of thousands.
The only realistic way to stop the illegal lotto would be by imprisoning 50% of the population, using 25% of the population as prison guards and the remainder to prevent the guards from gambling themselves.
The Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) of Diocese of Dumaguete is warming up to the idea of mass incarceration of lotto players. According to a recently issued decree, the PPC urged all mayors, councils, barangay captains and the governor to enforce Philippine gambling laws and to unleash all their might against “swertres” Pick-3 illegal lotto and Bingo Milyonaryo players.
Aside from PPC, the Diocesan Council of the Laity and Diocesan Organization Renewal Movements and Communities (DORMC) also called on local officials to ban the operation specifically Lotto, “swertres” and Bingo Milyonaryo which is reportedly in full operations in some areas of the province.
PPC as well as three major Catholic Church organizations claimed that Pick-3 lotto and bingo are destroying the lives of countless children.
In an ironic twist of fate, Bingo Milyonaryo was originally introduced by the government in order to bring down the number of illegal swertres lotto players, which it failed to do. Instead, upon its discontinuation by the government, illegal gambling providers created their own version of Bingo Milyonaryo and thus the second illegal gambling game was created due to popular demand.