If we are illegal, why arrest our bet collectors only now?—GTGC veep

ILOILO–Global Tech Gaming Corporation, a licensed operator of the Peryahan ng Bayan here in the province of Iloilo, has recently questioned the move of the Iloilo Provincial Police Office (IPPO) to apprehend bet collectors under their employ.

According to Atty. Bernard Vitriolo, GTGC’s Vice-President for Legal Affairs, it’s puzzling how the police would arrest their bet collectors only now when they’ve been in operation for more than two years already. “Kasi, kung kami po (ay) illegal, dapat noon pa kami pinahuli [You see, if we are indeed illegal, we could have been arrested a long time ago].”

He stressed that they are allowed to operate Peryahan ng Bayan in the whole country based on a Court of Appeals (CA) decision on the matter.

In fact, he said, several GTGC corredores (bet collectors) were nabbed in the province of Iloilo last year but cases against them were all dismissed for lack of legal basis.

Atty. Bernard Vitriolo, VP for Legal Affairs of the Global Tech Gaming Corporation, asked the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO) not to arrest their corredores (bet collectors) to avoid legal issues in the future./iNEWS/N. Glenn Aragon (Photo courtesy of The Northern Forum)

Vitriolo also assured their corredores that they will always support them in their legal issues arising from their employment as PnB bet collectors and will also bail them out if arrested for collecting bets.

He thinks that the police are caught in the middle of the issue after the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) came up with a letter saying that another company is the only licensed operator of PCSO games in the province. He stated that the PCSO letter is not a legal court order and that it, in fact, contravenes the CA’s decision and pronouncements on the matter.

He added he has sent letters to the Police Regional Office-6 and to Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Jr. asking them not to arrest their bet collectors as they are only doing their jobs, and that GTGC would like to avoid legal issues that would likely ensue involving the arresting cops.

Vitriolo also advised all parties in this issue to just wait for the decision of the arbitration tribunal that is expected in October this year. That arbitration court—the final arbiter in this issue—will decide with finality whether GTGC can continue to operate PCSO games in Iloilo.

To note, the PCSO recently sent a letter to the IPPO saying that only 7 Aces Games and Amusement Corporation is the legitimate Authorized Agent Corporation that should be operating Small Town Lottery (STL) in the province. (N. Glenn Aragon/iNEWS)

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