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PIA Press Release
2009/10/14

Strictly enforce anti-illegal gambling laws, DILG tells LCEs

by Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob

Cagayan de Oro City (14 October) -- The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Northern Mindanao has enjoined all the local chief executives (LCE) in the region to strictly enforce laws and local ordinances against illegal gambling.

"Non-performance, thereof, shall constitute dereliction of duty which may be made a basis of the civil, criminal and / or administrative case against them," Regional Director Loreto T. Bhagwani of DILG-10 said.

Bhagwani, the 1st Vice Chairperson of the Regional Law Enforcement Coordinating Council (RLECC) of the region, said Sec. 16 of the Local Government Code of 1991 provides that "within their respective territorial jurisdiction, local government units (LGU) shall ensure and support, among other things, the preservation and enrichment of culture, promote health and safety and enhance the right of the people to a balanced ecology."

It also provides that LGU's shall encourage and support the development of appropriate and self-reliant scientific and technological capabilities, improve public morals, enhance economic prosperity and social justice, promote full employment among their residents, maintain peace and order, and preserve the comfort and convenience of their inhabitants.

Likewise, pursuant to Sec. 16 of the LGC, Presidential Decree No. 1602 and Republic Act 9287, in a effort to combat the social hazard of illegal gambling and eliminate this practice which dissipates the resources of the people, deteriorates morality and engenders wrongful behavior and vices among adults and children, alike, all LCE's are enjoined to perform their duty to strictly enforce the laws in relation to local ordinances against illegal gambling.

Bhagwani also reminds the LCE's of Republic Act 9281, particularly, Sec. 5 which provides that if the collector, agent, coordinator, controller, supervisor, maintainer, manager, operator, financier or capitalist of any illegal numbers game is a government employee and/or public official, whether elected or appointed, shall suffer the penalty of 12 years and one (1) day or 20 years and a fine ranging from Php3 million to Php5 million and perpetual absolute disqualification from public office.

In addition, the accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification from public office shall be imposed upon any local government official who, having knowledge of the existence of the operation or any illegal numbers game in his / her jurisdiction, fails to abate or to take action or tolerates the same, Bhagwani added. (PIA 10) [top]

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