- GILBERT BAYORAN
The two barangay captains in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, issued with subpoenas by the National Bureau of Investigation, vehemently denied involvement in illegal gambling, NBI Bacolod chief, Atty. Renoir Baldovino, said.
However, despite their denials, Baldovino said they are gathering additional evidences against the two barangay officials.
NBI had issued subpoenas to Joel Alibango and Franz Leonard Seguiro, punong barangays of 5 and 6, respectively, in Kabankalan City, to shed light on illegal gambling operations in their respective area.
Investigations conducted by the NBI 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 barangay.
As to the alleged link of a former elected government official in the illegal gambling, Baldovino said they have yet to establish proofs on the allegations.
Reports circulated in Kabankalan that the authority of Super Lucky Beagler Inc. (SLBI) to operate the Small Town Lottery (STL) had already expired.
However, 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 STL Authorized 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,” Villagracia pointed out./GB