By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The chairman of the House committee on transportation is seeking a congressional probe on the proliferation of “loteng” operations in Catanduanes.
Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento asked the Lower Chamber to step in and investigate the actions undertaken by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine National Police (PNP) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), in coordination with other agencies, on the proliferation of loteng in his province.
“There are reports that in Catanduanes, small town lottery (STL) has been surpassed by an illegal numbers game. Loteng, more popularly known as 2-balls, continues to proliferate in the province,” he said in filing House Resolution 2344.
He reminded that Section 1 of Executive Order No. 13 provides that the PNP, NBI and the law enforcement agencies, in coordination with the DILG, DOJ and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), shall intensify the fight against illegal gambling.
Sarmiento said the loteng operations in Catanduanes are allegedly financed by a certain resident of Albay who came from the mainland.
He said the supposed financier is allegedly connected to high-level officials of the Catanduanes provincial government.
“Loteng undermines the positive efforts of the government to promote STL to support the social service programs of the State and to provide livelihood for Catandunganons and other citizens, ” Sarmiento said.
He said the STL is Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’s democratized form of the grassroots-based lottery and charity to stamp out jueteng and to democratize charity at the national level.
He noted that the PCSO Resolution No. 464 effected the approval of the rules and regulations governing the conduct of STL in select pilot areas.
“It is the policy of the State to condemn the existence of illegal gambling activities as a widespread social menace and source of corruption, as it has become an influential factor in an individual’s disregard for the value of dignified work, perseverance and thrift, ” he said.