The head of the Philippine National Police (PNP) has pledged to step down and take administrative action against any police officials who do not effectively combat and prevent illegal gambling in their supervised areas
Chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr issued an order for an “intensified crackdown” on Friday, implementing a “one-strike and no-take policy,” as per the Philippine News Agency.
“The one strike and no take policy represents a zero-tolerance approach, where any negligence or inaction will be met with swift consequences. With this strong stance, the PNP aims to leave no room for leniency in eradicating the illegal gambling menace,” Acorda said in a statement Thursday.
“We will not tolerate the existence of illegal gambling activities that prey on the most vulnerable members of our society. Together with PCSO, we will deploy all necessary resources and implement stringent measures to put an end to this menace,” Acorda remarked.
In the event that police officials, including regional, provincial, and district directors, chiefs of police stations, community precinct commanders, and other unit leaders, are found to be ineffective or insufficient in their efforts to eliminate and prevent illegal gambling within their respective jurisdictions, they will be relieved of their positions and face administrative charges under the principle of command responsibility.
Under Acorda’s leadership, the PNP is deploying its established Regional/Provincial/City Anti-Illegal Gambling Special Operations Task Groups to strengthen the implementation of the provisions outlined in PNP MC NO. 2017-022, appropriately named “PNP Anti-Illegal Gambling Campaign Plan: Operation High Roller.” According to the PNP chief, this firm stance exemplifies the unwavering determination of the police force to eradicate illegal gambling and protect the well-being of the Filipino people. Acorda’s recent directive follows the collaboration between the PNP and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), aiming to intensify the nationwide campaign against all forms of illegal gambling activities.
These specialised units will utilise their expertise in gathering intelligence, conducting thorough investigations, and executing strategic interventions, bolstering the country’s fight against illegal gambling.
Acknowledging the detrimental impact caused by these illicit practices Mel Robles, the General Manager of PCSO, emphasised that illegal gambling operations have a significant adverse effect on the revenue generated by the organisation. It is disheartening to note that a majority of the earnings from such activities end up enriching the pockets of illegal gambling operators. Moreover, Robles underscored the far-reaching consequences of these unlawful gambling activities on impoverished Filipino citizens, as the losses incurred deprive them of essential healthcare services and other benefits provided by the PCSO.
Robles earnestly appealed to the general public, urging them to engage solely in PCSO-approved games like the lotto and the small-town lottery. By doing so, not only do Filipinos have an opportunity to win exciting prizes, but they also actively contribute to the financing of the PCSO’s welfare programs.
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