GENERAL SANTOS CITY(MindaNews/25 July) – The Police Regional Office 12 has relieved the police chief of Polomolok town in South Cotabato for failing to act on the rampant illegal gambling operations in the area.
Senior Supt. Randolph Delfin, South Cotabato police director, said Wednesday Supt. Fernando Fortez was removed from his post earlier this week by virtue of the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) “one strike policy” in the anti-illegal gambling campaign.
Chief Supt. Alex Paul Monteagudo, PNP-12 director, endorsed the relief of Fortez, the fourth police station chief in the region to be sacked this month as part of the drive, Delfin said.
Delfin said Monteagudo mainly cited as reason the failure of the Polomolok municipal police station to curb the illegal gambling activities, especially the “last two” illegal numbers game, in the area.
The official said Fortez was immediately replaced by Chief Insp. Joedelito Guisinga, who was earlier assigned at the Koronadal City police station.
Earlier this month, three police station commanders in the city were also removed from their posts by the regional police office over the same issue.
Relieved effective last July 12 were Chief Insp. Leo Sua of the city’s police station 1, Chief Insp. Samuel Cadungon of police station 2 and Senior Insp. Hoover Antonio of police station 6.
They were sacked “for alleged neglect of duty after illegal gambling activities were uncovered within their areas during anti-illegal gambling operations launched recently by the PNP Anti-Illegal Gambling-Special Operations Task Force.”
Under the one strike policy, “any successful anti-illegal gambling operation by AIG-SOTF in a town or city shall result in the relief of the chief of police or precinct commander.”
This city and several other key areas in Region 12 had been identified by the PNP as illegal gambling hotspots, specifically of the “last two” illegal numbers game.
Republic Act 9827 or the Anti-Illegal Numbers Game Law defines “last two” as an illegal numbers game where the winning combination is derived from the last two numbers of the first prize of the winning sweepstakes ticket which comes out during the weekly draw of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), and its variants.”
In this city, authorities said “last two” operators now derive their winning number combination from the daily lotto draws of the PCSO.