DILG: 'Peryahan ng Bayan' still suspended, any operations are illegal

DILG: 'Peryahan ng Bayan' still suspended, any operations are illegal
In this file photo dated July 27, 2019, then-Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde leads the closure of at least 12 lotto outlets and STL operator's offices in Baguio City following President Rodrigo Duterte's order.
The STAR / Artemio Dumlao

MANILA, Philippines — Following reports that operations of “Peryahan ng Bayan” — the local numbers games that used to be licensed by the sweepstakes office, has resumed operations in several areas — the Department of the Interior and Local Government legal operations are still suspended by order of the Office of the President.

In a statement sent to reporters, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said that his office directed the Philippine National Police and local government units to check if the illegal numbers games are operating in their areas and to shut them down if so.

"The operation of Peryahan ng Bayan is still suspended so I instruct the PNP to continue the tough campaign to suppress all forms of illegal gambling, including PnB," he said.

Año added that per reports, the PNB resumed in a few areas, with operators pointing to a Writ of Execution issued by the RTC to law enforcers and LGUs to prevent them from stopping their operations. He said that the court order has already been recalled.

He cited that on January 29, 2020, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea issued a Memorandum to the PCSO, clarifying that the resumption of PnB operations is still suspended.

This prompted the PCSO to suspend the operations of Peryahan games effective February 6, 2020 and to file an Urgent Manifestation with Regional Trial Court Branch 161 stating that the PnB “does not bear the approval of the President and is therefore still subject to the suspension order of PCSO Games as pronounced by the President.”

In an order dated February 18, 2020, RTC Branch 161 took note of the Memorandum from the Office of the President and the Urgent Manifestation filed by PCSO and recalled the Writ of Execution that it issued on January 24, 2020 which allowed the operations of PnB.

“The DILG takes note of the recall order issued by the court. Unless the said order is overturned by the same court or court of higher jurisdiction, the recall order is effective and should be implemented. Hence, the operations of Peryahan ng Bayan are still suspended,” said Año.

“Peryahan does not stop because PnB operators show the Writ of Execution of RTC Branch 161. That order is no longer valid because it has been recalled. Therefore, stopping operations should be the Peryahan,” Año said in Filipino.

To recall, President Rodrigo Duterte in 2019 suspended the gaming operations of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office because of what he described as "massive" corruption in the agency. 

Last March, DILG Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya warned the public against fake news that the DILG Secretary allegedly directed the PNP to allow the operation of PnB.  

He said that the department never issued a directive to the PNP to condone illegal gambling activities. 

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