• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The two barangay captains in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, issued subpoenas by the National Bureau of Investigation, vehemently denied involvement in illegal gambling, NBI Bacolod chief Atty. Renoir Baldovino disclosed yesterday.
Despite the denials by the two barangay officials, Baldovino said they are still gathering additional evidence against them.
NBI issued subpoenas to Joel Alibango and Franz Leonard Seguiro, chairpersons of Barangays 5 and 6, respectively, in Kabankalan City, to shed light on illegal gambling operations in their respective areas.
NBI investigation showed that the two barangay officials, in the presence of two illegal gambling operators, met with bet solicitors who have been allowed to operate in their respective barangays.
As to the alleged link of a former elected government official in illegal gambling, Baldovino said they have yet to establish proof on the allegations.
Rumors are being circulated in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, that the authority of Super Lucky Beagler Inc. (SLBI) to operate the Small Town Lottery (STL), had already expired.
The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, through its Negros Occidental branch manager, Jose Manuel Villagracia, in his letter to Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, stressed that SLBI is the sole Authorized STL Agent Corporation in Negros Occidental, and Bacolod City.
“Please be advised that STL operations in the province of Negros Occidental, other than that of SLBI, are illegal, such as the ‘New STL’,” Villagracia pointed out.
Gov. Lacson earlier discouraged Negrenses from supporting illegal STL games.
Lacson further said that he intends to call Villagracia to get more background information, noting that the letter sent to him by PCSO, implied illegal activities.
“Of course, we don’t want that. We only support legitimate STL operations,” he stressed.*