DAGUPAN CITY – Mayor Belen T. Fernandez spearheaded the destruction in public view of confiscated 'hataw' gambling machines a as she ordered Police Superintendent Christopher Abrahano, city police chief, to get rid of all illegal video gambling machines to make Dagupan City “hataw-free”.
Fernandez, together with Abrahano, destroyed a total of 24 hataw machines last December 19 at the PNP compound.
Abrahano said that the gambling machines were confiscated in different depressed areas around the city, most of which were from Sitio Aling in Barangay Pantal, in various operations conducted this year.
Concerned citizens provided information on the operation of the illegal machines through the city's police hotline number.
“The PNP will continue to implement the anti-gambling law in order to protect students who are the main target of these illegal activities,” said Abrahano.
Mayor Fernandez vowed to stop all forms of illegal gambling in Dagupan. Fernandez added that with the help of the local police force, her administration is determined to fully eliminate the existence of these gambling machines in the city.
“We want to bring the message that hataw machines are not allowed here in Dagupan,” Fernandez said.
Hataw, known as "ameneng" in Pangasinan, is a video game machine mostly operated near schools and thus is easily accessible to children.
The Dagupan City Federation of Parent-Teachers Association (FPTA) is one of the local government's partners in its advocacy to prevent children from being exposed to different forms of gambling and other vices.
FPTA President Imelda Gonzales said that the city has been effective in its mission to eradicate these illegal activities.
“This campaign of Mayor Fernandez is an efficient solution to combat those who operate illegal gambling operations in the city as well as to protect the children from them,” Gonzales said.
MBTF, THE HATAW DESTROYER – Mayor Belen T. Fernandez destroys one of 24 confiscated 'hataw' machines at the PNP headquarters on Friday, December 19. The local government, together with the PNP, has continued its effort to eradicate illegal gambling in the city. (CIO photo by Mitz Cresencio)