By MANLY M UGALDE
TABACO CITY: This is one for Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo and Police Director General Nicanor Bartolome.
A police officer arrested jueteng bet collectors recently here and, the following day, he was ordered sacked by the Albay police provincial command.
The deputy provincial police director, Supt. Paulino Belga, confirmed in a radio interview the relief of SPO2 Victor Borjal of the Tabaco Police Station, but clarified his dismissal was based on earlier complaints that Borjal was allegedly arrogant in dealing with violators.
Reports said Borjal had already been relieved a year ago and re-assigned in another town after arresting jueteng bet collectors.
He was, however, returned to the Tabaco Philippine National Police (PNP) a few months later.
Shortly after Borjal’s sacking, the Tabaco City council summoned Tabaco Police Chief Supt Joel Ada about the surge of jueteng operations and bookies of Meredien Gaming that operates local on-line betting stations in the province.
Police authorities claimed Meredien was operating legally because of a permit granted by the provincial government.
Robredo had tagged Meredien Gaming illegal for its operation outside the Cagayan Freeport Zone by virtue of a resolution from the Court of Appeals pending before the Supreme Court.
Anti-gambling advocates claimed Meredien is merely operating as a front for jueteng, which the group called small-town lottery (STL). STL has long ceased operating in Albay.
Local media practitioners took the cudgels for Borjal by assailing the new Albay police leadership in allegedly promoting the illegal numbers game with the surge of jueteng operation under the recently installed Albay police provincial director, Supt Ruben Sodsod.
Sodsod had replaced Supt William Macavinta.
Ada has denied that Borjal was sacked, despite an earlier admission of Belga in radio interviews, confirming the re-assignment of Borjal.
Belga was even quoted as saying that Borjal should be thankful he was merely being re-assigned to nearby Malinao Police Station.
Following the interview of Belga in radio stations on Thursday, a radio message was received by the Tabaco PNP of a new order returning Borjal to the Tabaco PNP. – Bicol Mail