DAGUPAN CITY – The National Bureau of Investigation has been tasked to help the police in eliminating the illegal numbers game jueteng in Pangasinan with the order coming from the NBI main office.
NBI provincial chief Rogelio Mamauag said his office received the directive last week signed by NBI head Magtanggol Gatdula, for the NBI local office to conduct operations against jueteng.
He said the directive was in response to a request from the League of Governors of the Philippines which passed a resolution that it wanted jueteng stopped.
Mamauag said the NBI is coordinating with the police in the conduct of anti-gambling operations, “with a police supplying us with information (and) we give report to the local police.”
“We don’t want to conduct operations without the police. Ayaw naming magkamali (we don’t want to make mistakes,” he said.
The NBI swooped into areas where draws are done in three towns but were able to apprehend only bet collectors in Laoac (six), Basista (11) and Malasiqui (3).
Mamauag said personnel from the main office coordinate with local NBI office’s personnel in the conduct of the raids, a move which is welcome because “local residents are familiar with local NBI people.”
“Our dilemma is people seem to know that we will be conducting operations. When we arrive at the site, the suspects are gone. It’s a tedious process. Sometimes the draws are conducted deep in corn field. Somebody could already be texting the jueteng personnel because when we arrive, they’re gone,” Mamauag said....
The NBI call the jueteng personnel “kangaroos” who jump from one place to another.
“Right after we turn our back, they return,” Mamauag said.
Another problem the NBI operatives encountered is that the bet collectors merely throw away the papers on which bets are written so it difficult to prove they are collectors.
For instance, in Basista, the 11 suspects were released because of a court prosecutor’s resolution that there should be further investigation if those apprehended are really bet collectors.
That the NBI’s vehicles are already familiar in the province is another problem that the agency’s personnel have to overcome.
“We cannot conduct raids at nighttime because it would be dangerous,” Mamauag said.
The local town police are likewise conducting raids in the different towns. A report furnished to the Inquirer showed that from January 1 to February 28, the police conducted 27 raids against illegal gambling operations and arrested 61 suspects. The report showed that the raid in Malasiqui was conducted in coordination with the NBI.