BAGUIO CITY – The newest members of the city council is pushing for the recall of the earlier approval made by the local legislative body of Resolution No. 084, series of 2015 interposing no objection to the request of Mr. Rafael A. Tabora to put up an electronic bingo outlet along Marcos highway because it runs counter to the established policy of the city government against all forms of gambling.
Councilor Lilia G. Yaranon cited the approval of Resolution No. 084, series of 2015 is contrary to the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7160 otherwise known as the Local Government Code of the Philippines, specifically Section 458(a)(1)(v) which states “City Council to enact ordinances intended to prevent, suppress, and impose appropriate penalties for gambling and other prohibited games of chances.”
Further, Yaranon argued ‘bingo’ is penalized as a crime under Presidential Decree (PD) 1602 which is absorbed in Articles 195-199 in the Revised Penal Code.
She pointed out the Philippine Gaming and Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is not allowed under its Charter to relinquish or share its franchise, much less grant a veritable franchise to another entity.
“Any government official who, having knowledge of the existence of the operation of an illegal numbers game in his or her jurisdiction, fails to abate or to take action, or tolerates the same, shall suffer the penalty of perpetual disqualification from public office,” Yaranon stressed as she cited the provisions of RA 9287 on the liability of government officials and employees tolerating the proliferation of illegal gambling.
According to her, further discussing the issue on bingo is considered to be subjudice since the issue regarding the controversial Bingo sa Barangay is still pending with the Supreme Court (SC).
Earlier the Baguio-Benguet Multisectoral and Ecumenical Group have expressed their disappointment over the recent action of the city council railroading approval of the controversial e-bingo resolution without conducting the required consultations with the local residents and get their sentiments whether or not they are in favour of the operation of e-bingo in the city.
Moreover, the BBEMG cited the conduct of the gathering of as many signatures from the people of the city who are against gambling so that it will be submitted to the city council to guide the members in coming out with their future action on what to do with the controversial e-bingo resolution.
It was learned that Resolution No. 084, series of 2015 has become effective after Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan failed to act on the matter within the 10-day reglamentary period for him to either approve or veto the resolution as enshrined in the provisions of the Local Government code.
Domogan explained he does not want to disturb the consent given by the city council because the local legislators have already given their consent and being the representatives of the people of the city, their actions will not be disturbed and they will have to face the consequences of their actions in the future.
In approving the e-bingo resolution, majority of the councilors argued e-bingo is not gambling and that it is similar to the traditional bingo. By Dexter A. See