Año orders PNP, LGUs to run after illegal numbers games operators

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Sec. Eduardo Año ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to intensify the operations against illegal numbers games.

This, amid reports that there are some group and individuals that are continuously cashing in on various illegal numbers games that include "Peryahan ng Bayan (PnB)" which remains suspended as ordered by the Office of the President.

“Suspendido pa rin po ang operasyon ng Peryahan ng Bayan kaya inaatasan ko ang PNP na ipagpatuloy ang maigting na kampanya para supilin ang lahat ng uri ng illegal gambling, kasama na ang PnB (The operation of the ‘Peryahan ng Bayan’ remains suspended that is why I am directing the PNP to continue its intense campaign to suppress the operation os all forms of illegal gambling),’’ Año said.

On January 29, 2020, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea issued a memorandum to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), clarifying that the resumption of PnB operations is still suspended.

This prompted the PCSO to suspend the operations of Peryahan games effective February 6, 2020 and to file an urgent manifestation with the court stating that the PnB “does not bear the approval of the President and is therefore still subject to the suspension order of PCSO Games as pronounced by the President.”

In an order dated February 18, 2020, the court took note of the memorandum from the Office of the President and the urgent manifestation filed by PCSO and recalled the writ of execution that was issued on January 24, 2020 which allowed the operations of PnB.

“The DILG takes note of the recall order issued by the court. Unless the said order is overturned by the same court or court of higher jurisdiction, the recall order is effective and should be implemented. Hence, the operations of Peryahan ng Bayan are still suspended,” said Año.

The DILG secretary reiterated his clarification after receiving information that the PnB operations still continue in several areas of the country with the operators brandishing the recalled writ of execution to the LGUs and law enforcers.

Last March, DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya warned the public against fake news that Año allegedly directed the PNP to allow the operation of PnB.

He emphasized that Año “has not and will never issue such a directive to the PNP to condone illegal gambling activities such as Peryahan ng Bayan.’’ (Chito A. Chavez)