A REPORT that illegal gambling operators have “advanced P10 million” in protection money to his office has prompted Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael ‘Mike’ D. Sueno to order Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. de la Rosa to arrest unscrupulous individuals using his name and other DILG-PNP officials to collect monthly protection money from illegal gambling operators.
Sueno maintained that he and President Duterte are “very much against jueteng” and want to eradicate the problem after they have thoroughly addressed the illegal drug menace. Apparently, some rogue individuals have taken advantage of the ongoing massive crackdown against drugs to solicit money from gambling operators using the names of the DILG secretary and other officials of the department.
In a memorandum to Gen. de la Rosa, the DILG chief reiterated that he and the DILG Office of the Internal Security in Camp Crame do not tolerate any form of illegal gambling and “won’t be a protector of the same nor deal in any means/form with so-called illegal gambling operators.”
Journal Group sources said some unscrupulous police officers and men as well as retired cops and civilians have been using the names of Secretary Sueno, his Senior Police Assistant, Senior Superintendent Alex B. Sintin and DILG Office of Internal Security chief, Supt. Raymond Train to collect or even advance monthly protection money from gambling lords in the country.
In line with this, Sueno called on Gen. de la Rosa to order the arrest of persons using the name of the Office of the DILG Secretary and the Office of the DILG-OIS to collect protection money from gambling lords.
In a memorandum, Sintin, the Officer-in-Charge-Senior Police Assistant of Sec. Sueno said they have received reports pertaining to alleged police offices/personnel and civilians soliciting money and in kind from operators of illegal gambling using the name of the Office of the SILG.
“Please be informed/guided that the SILG has not authorized anybody to solicit money or anything for and on his behalf or neither me, nor allow any form of solicitation/collection for whatever purpose particularly from operators of illegal gambling,” said Sintin.
According to Sintin, Secretary Sueno has verbally instructed Gen. de la Rosa to investigate and go after police officers and men as well as civilians who are soliciting money from gambling operators using their names.
The DILG chief asked the PNP leadership to submit a weekly report on the matter.
“We have monitored the presence of some unscrupulous people using the name of Sec. Sueno as well as my name and that of Supt. Train in order to collect protection money from gambling operators in Metro Manila and its nearby provinces. This has to stop and right now, we have been ordered to conduct an intensive operation against these persons. This is the directive of the DILG Secretary,” Sintin said.
Sintin said the DILG chief also asked Rizal Police Provincial Office director Senior Supt. Adriano T. Enong Jr. to investigate reports that some unscrupulous individuals have been using his name to extort money from illegal gambling operators in the province.
The same instruction was relayed by the DILG chief to Police Regional Office 4-A director, Chief Supt. Valfrie Tabian. Sueno also ordered a probe into reports that unscrupulous persons using his name and that of Sintin have been collecting protection money from illegal gambling operators in Ermita, Manila. Manila Police District Station 5 commander, Supt. Albert Barot said he has ordered an investigation into the report.