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PIA Press Release

Multi-sectoral group holds prayer rally vs gambling

by Lito Dar

Baguio City (7 December) -- Around 200 people from multi-sectoral groups, schools and religious groups held a protest parade and peace rally against illegal gambling operations in the city Monday afternoon.

The protest parade started from the top of Session Road up to the City Hall grounds where they held a prayer rally before the 2:00pm City Council Session, wherein the operation of Small Town Lottery (STL) in the city was one of the agenda.

The prayer rally was led by Bishop Carlito Cenzon of the Catholic Church Baguio-Benguet Vicariate, Pastor Simplicio Dang-awa, head of the United Church of Chrsitian in the Phillippines (UCCP-Baguio), Imam Bedejim Abdullah of the City Muslim Community, former city Mayor Braulio Yaranon and former councilor Galo Weygan.

In a statement of unity read by Bishop Cenzon, it says,'We, the people of Baguio and La Trinidad, do not want Lotto, STL, Jai-Alai, Bingo, Jueteng, tong-it etc. What we want is Peace, Progress and Unity in the home, schools and government. Not gambling and vices that causes poverty, separation, delinquency and corruption.'

'Let there be peace and joy for all. The triumph of gambling and vices is for good people to fold their hands and do nothing. Rise up and overwhelm the forces of the devil that makes the poor, poorer,' the statement said.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan pledged before the crowd his full support in the fight against any form of gambling. He also advised the people of Baguio and La Trinidad to stop patronizing gambling such as the jai-alai (which is legal in La Trinidad) and the operations of Bingoteng in some barangays.

Last week, the City's Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) and the Baguio City Police Office raided a Bingoteng operation which they believed is a front forjJueteng operations. About five more barangay's in the city are also being monitored for bingoteng. (PIA) [top]

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