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National

Bartolome bares STL-'jueteng' links, requests executive session on payola

Former Interior Undersec Rico Puno (left) and PNP Director General Nicanor Bartolome at the Senate hearing called by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago. (photo by Jamin Verde, InterAksyon.com)

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE - 2:07 p.m.) Philippine National Police Director General Nicanor Bartolome on Friday bared what appeared to be the use of the government-run Small Town Lottery by operators of the illegal numbers game “jueteng” to shield their racket from authorities.

At the same time, Bartolome requested the Senate panel investigating resigned Interior Undersecretary Rico Puno to allow an executive session for his testimony on the illegal numbers game and the bribes handed out to government officials.

“Madame Chair, I would like to ask for an executive session regarding the jueteng payola,” Bartolome told Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who is conducting the hearing.

“Yes you can have the executive session,” Santiago replied.

Bartolome requested the closed-door session after Santiago asked him to elaborate on jueteng operations and name officials who receive payoffs from gambling lords.

Bartolome said jueteng operators, collectors and runners often evade arrest by showing identification cards issued by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office to STL operators.

“As far at the operations of jueteng is concerned, the use of STL IDs (has) prevented our police personnel (form arresting) jueteng operators meaning, they have their own identification cars for STL operations,” Bartolome said.

As a result, he said, “we have too many cases where, after the operations against jueteng are mounted, it is our police officers who are being charged.”

“Nonetheless, we (have) continued our operations despite all these setbacks and in the┬áprocess, from January of this year to date, we have filed 1,666 cases of illegal gambling … in the country,” Bartolome said.

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