The Philippines: 23 arrested for illegal gambling

During the raid, police seized playing cards and money totalling PHP5,857.
During the raid, police seized playing cards and money totalling PHP5,857.

Police in Central Luzon have carried out a series of raids that ended with the arrest of 23 people.

The Philippines.- Police have arrested 23 people in a series of raids to crack down on illegal gambling in Central Luzon. In Bulacan province, five people were arrested after police found them allegedly playing “Pusoy”. Another 10 people were arrested while allegedly playing poker and card games in Concepcion, San Miguel and Banban in Taras province.

Another raid was carried out in the province of Zambales, ending with the arrest of eight people who were allegedly involved in illegal gambling operations. During the raids, police seized a total of PHP5,857 and playing cards.

A week ago, the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) also recognised the Philippines’ efforts to strengthen measures against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. In its July report, the watchdog said the Philippines had addressed gaps in checks conducted on casinos supervised by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR).

Before the update, the Philippines had been advised to reassessment some issues classified as partial compliance. One was that the qualification process associated with PAGCOR licensees covered only directors and not shareholders or beneficial owners.

However, the watchdog said since the mutual evaluation report, PAGCOR has issued and approved additional probity check guidelines effective since January 27. The updated list of individuals subject to fit and proper requirements and required to provide a personal disclosure statement to PAGCOR included management functions/officers, shareholders holding at least 20 per cent ownership or with significant controlling interest, and beneficial owners.

Philippine bishop expresses concern about cockfighting

Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo has expressed concern about the negative impact of cockfighting on poor young people in Kidapawan City, Mindanao. He said cockfighting was becoming increasingly popular as a form of gambling and that it continued widely despite the Kidapawan city government declaring a war on illegal gambling.

In an interview with Catholic Church-run Radyo Veritas, Bagoforo said: “Stories of people who won are splashed all over the internet as if gambling was the answer to their problem. Little do they know, their problem is just beginning.”

The problem exists not only in Kidapawan, however. In June, 75 people were arrested in Mexico, Pampanga after officers dismantled an illegal cockfighting hub. In April, some 300 people were also arrested after a raid on a cockfighting pit in the town of Balingasag.

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