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Fiona Simmons June 14, 2023 2 min read
Philippines Conducts 41,000 Illegal Gambling Arrests in 2023
Police authorities in the Philippines have been busy with officers conducting 41,000 arrests in 2023 so far
A total of 50,000 police operations have been conducted nationwide since the beginning of the year, said Philippine National Police (PNP) chief general Benjamin Acorda Jr, cited by the Philippine News Agency.
Acorda Jr offered a detailed overview of the efforts that have been put in negating the pernicious influence of illegal gambling and said that the entire PNP was determined to continue with the crackdown on such activities. This is not just because the police suddenly feel more determined to work cases, but also because police stations, chiefs, and personnel are now threatened by penalties if they fail to respond to tips and investigate illegal gambling in their areas of supervision.
This is known as the doctrine of “command responsibility” and it is designed to ensure that officers are addressing the issue headlong. Acorda Jr said that the existence of any illegal gambling activity would not be tolerated, as such establishments prey on the weakest members of society and cause society-wide ills.
“Together with PCSO, we will deploy all necessary resources and implement stringent measures to put an end to this menace,” the official said, showing readiness to act. Some of the most common instances of illegal gambling have involved cockerel fights and e-sabong, the online version of it.
Police in the Philippines Goes After POGOs
Acorda Jr confirmed that the police are now actively clamping down on online gambling sites and operators, as well as their staff involved in the promotion of such markets and targeting consumers. Despite this determination, there have been some hurdles on the road to progress, namely:
However, we encounter some problems in enforcement. For instance, our laws do not mention anything about online betting. Even if we conduct operations, the betting is done online so we do not have anything to present before the courts.Benjamin Acorda Jr, chief general, PNP
The Philippines has been seeking to ensure that it fights illegal gambling across the board. The country is taking a tougher stance on POGOs and has gone after sublicensing. Meanwhile, authorities are working to crack down on illegal gambling sites that are targeting overseas customers, including Chinese and US citizens, through nefarious operations.
The country’s reputation has taken a hit as its name has been associated with human trafficking and corrupt schemes involving crypto and gambling over the past months.