‘Sidewalk casinos’ in Cubao back in business
Non Alquitran (The Philippine Star) - September 27, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The “sidewalk casinos” in Cubao, Quezon City are back in business.

The reopening of the casinos, located along Pinatubo and West Point streets, confirmed reports that the illegal gambling operators have connections with law enforcers and members of the media who reportedly frequent the casinos to receive payoffs.

The casinos were shut down last Saturday following a raid ordered by National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Carmelo Valmoria.

Arrested during the raid were casino personnel Rogelio Almaro, 43, and Josua Marasigan, 39. They yielded gambling paraphernalia and cash bets.

They were charged with illegal gambling before the Quezon City prosecutor’s office.

However, the casinos have reopened with two tables for color gambling games, attracting clients especially commuters.

Residents told The STAR that policemen and some members of the media have been seen near the casinos since Tuesday apparently to collect their weekly payola.

Sources said a ranking police official gave the casino financiers the go signal to resume operation.

Cubao residents urged Interior Secretary Mar Roxas to investigate the operation of the sidewalk casinos so he can have more information regarding the “quota system” in the Philippine National Police (PNP).

“If he wants to know more about the quota system within the PNP, this is a good place to start his investigation,” a resident said.

Roxas had ordered an investigation into the PNP quota system following the P2.1-million “hulidap” operation last Sept. 1 along EDSA in Mandaluyong involving active and dismissed policemen.

The two casinos have permits issued by the city government to run a mini-carnival, but these establishments feature no rides, only tables for bingo and color games.

“Nobody wins in these color games. The financiers are robbing the people of their hard-earned money, which they use to bribe policemen and media people for their continued and unhampered operation,” a resident said.

Some residents said Superintendent Ramon Pranada was relieved from his post as Cubao police station commander recently due to the rising cases of crimes brought about by the presence of the casinos.

The casinos stopped operations after Superintendent Wilson de los Santos took over Pranada’s post but reopened allegedly after several days of “negotiations.”

 

CASINOS CUBAO DIRECTOR CARMELO VALMORIA INTERIOR SECRETARY MAR ROXAS JOSUA MARASIGAN NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION POLICE OFFICE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE PINATUBO AND WEST POINT QUEZON CITY ROGELIO ALMARO
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