Police express alarm over killing of 'jueteng' collectors

CAMP GEN. SIMEON A. OLA, Legazpi City, Sept. 3 (PNA) -- Local police have expressed alarm over the killings of collectors of the illegal numbers game "jueteng".

This, after unidentified armed men kidnapped a jueteng collector and peppered him with bullets while he was collecting bets on Monday at Purok 3, Barangay San Ramon, Daraga, Albay.

A police report reaching Police Sr. Supt. Marlo S. Meneses, Provincial Police director of Albay, the victim was identified as Rudy Nero from Camalig, Albay but was a resident of Barangay San Vicente Grande, Daraga town when he was executed.

Based on the report, Meneses said, Nero was abducted at at about 8 a.m. Monday and a resident found his dead body at 2 p.m.

Another resident, Nenita Macasinag, said she heard gunshots at about 9 a.m.

Earlier, another jueteng operator was gunned down in Legazpi City while he was about to ride after emerging from a jueteng draw safehouse.

Residents of Daraga and Legazpi City alone, have complained of the proliferation of the illegal numbers game in their respective areas.

They said only the morning draw is based on the Small Town Lottery results while the draws in the afternoon and in the evening are based on the own decisions of the operators.

Some winners of the illegal gambling activity in Legazpi City have even complained of non-payment of their winnings.

Police authorities, however, have complained that they are helpless in going after the men involved in the illegal numbers as they hide in the cloak of Meridien Gambling Corp., which claimed that its operation is legal, having a permit from the Cagayan Export Processing Zone.

"We cannot do anything as the representatives of the company show papers that they are legally operating," Chief, Supt, Victor P. Deona, former Bicol police regional police chief and now Criminal Investigation and Detection Group director, once admitted to the media.

Arresting men involved in the numbers game hiding under the cloak of the Meridien had caused the suspension of at least two dozens of Bicol police officers who believed they were just doing their duty, Deona said.

Concerned citizens are wondering as to what happened to the case of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima against the Meridien Gaming Corp. (PNA)