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LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, Philippines - The numbers game called jai-alai is back in 41 towns and cities of Pangasinan, apparently with vengeance.
This was after the sixth division of the Court of Appeals issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the game at the request of the petitioner, Meredien Vision Gaming Corp. (MVGC).
Senior Superintendent Rosueto Ricaforte, provincial director, reported the issuance of the TRO by the CA in a talk before the Sanguniang Panlalawigan (SP) last Monday (September 5).
He clarified that the police in Pangasinan cannot do anything against jai-alai based on a memorandum issued by Camp Crame national police headquarters restraining them or their agents from closing down the betting stations of MVGC in various towns and cities of Pangasinan.
All the jai-alai fronton betting stations have business permits issued by municipal and city governments.
However, jail-alai grounded to a halt sometime in July due to a nationwide crackdown launched by the Department of Justice and the Department of Interior and Local Government.
Ricaforte revealed the state of the peace and order situation in the province before the SP where he was also asked some questions about jai alai.
He told the SP there was no jueteng in Pangasinan any more as the bet collectors have already legalized their operations by working for the jail-alai off fronton betting stations.
As such, they were issued by MVGC with their corresponding identification cards.
However, SP member Jeremy Rosario claimed it is not jai -alai but the illegal numbers game jueteng which was operations in towns and cities of Pangasinan.
Under jai-alai, he said, there must be uniform winning numbers in all towns and cities of Pangasinan, alleging that under the set-up, jai-alai is only being used as a cover-up for jueteng. Thus, the results in towns varied.
At the same time, SP member Alfonso Bince Jr., a lawyer, expressed doubt whether the TRO would have any effect in Pangasinan but rather to existing off-fronton stations at the Cagayan Export Processing Zone Authority (CESA).
Ricaforte, however, vowed to check the report that jai-alai is being used as a front for jueteng.