Illegal gambling operations in R-12 now use ‘text’

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/16 July) – With the police intensifying their operations against illegal gambling in Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao, bettors and operators have reportedly made use of “texting” in placing and confirming bets on a numbers game called “last two, a police official said.

“Some bettors now secure bets by going to the houses of their patrons while others use text messages in getting and confirming the bets,” Supt. Maximo Layugan, deputy city police director for administration, said.

Layugan admitted that such kind of operation would be difficult to monitor but said they are currently devising some strategies to effectively counter them.

“We also urge residents to stop patronizing these illegal activities. These illegal operations would surely die down if no one will patronize them,” he added.

Chief Supt. Felicisimo Khu, Region 12 police director, declared Friday that illegal gambling operations in the region have started to slow down due to their continuing crackdown against suspected gambling operators and financiers.

Khu said they already accomplished at least 192 anti-illegal gambling operations from April to June in various key cities and municipalities of the region.

Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

“These operations mainly led to the closure of a significant number of ‘last two’ betting stations and the arrest of several suspected operators and their couriers,” Khu said.

“Last two” is an illegal numbers game where the winning combination is derived from the last two digits of the winning number combination of the daily lotto draw of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

Khu directed in April an intensified crackdown against illegal gambling and illegal drug activities, which he noted have already become rampant in the area.

The police official specifically directed each police station to launch at least four successful anti-illegal gambling and two anti-illegal drug operations every month.

“We have to admit that these illegal activities have become rampant during the previous months and this was proven by our 192 successful operations since April,” he said.

Khu said he personally pushed for the strengthening of their anti-illegal gambling operations, specifically against “last two”, as it could be tied up to the increasing cases of crimes like robbery and theft.

“There were reported cases of serious misunderstanding among bettors and operators that led to killings,” he said. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)