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Tagbilaran Mayor, 2 Kagawads Cuddling Illegal Gambling?
« on: May 26, 2009, 10:16:51 PM »
By the Bohol Chronicle

What started as a warning to the city mayor and two city councilors against providing protection to an arrested swertres financier, has now escalated into threats of a lawsuit and administrative charges aimed against the said three city officials.

City councilor Zenaido Rama vowed yesterday to file a complaint against City Mayor Dan Lim for his public statements signifying “support” to suspected big-time swertres financier and Mansasa Barangay Captain Manolo “Taran” Blanco who was caught in a lightning raid at his residence last May 15 by operatives of the Regional Intelligence Division of the Police Regional Office-7.

Likewise, Rama said he received “reliable information” that two of his lawyer-colleagues, City councilors Oscar Glovasa and Danilo Bantugan, went to the residence of Blanco during the raid “allegedly at the request of the city mayor”.

“They have no business to be there, if it is indeed true that they went to the residence of Blanco during the raid at the mayor’s bidding. [Blanco] was arrested for his alleged involvement in illegal gambling activities in the province and the presence of two city councilors during his arrest would seem they were also lending their support to him”, Rama stressed.

Mayor Lim has declared a day after Blanco’s arrest over his weekly radio program that he will “help and stand by his friend” (Blanco) and in fact provided the suspected illegal gambling financier “the best lawyer” to help him in the ensuing legal battle.

The lawyer allegedly provided by the city mayor is Atty. Darryll Amante who was responsible for the immediate release of Blanco before he can even be brought to Cebu City since the search warrant issued against him originated from Cebu City Regional Trial Court Judge Sylvia Paderanga.

According to Rama, the acts and public statements of the city mayor are “clearly in defiance” with his mandate as a public official.

Rama pointed out provisions of Republic Act 9287, the law governing illegal numbers game, which defines “protectors and coddlers” as “any person who lends or provides protection, or receives benefits in any manner in the operation of any illegal numbers game”.

The city mayor has repeatedly stressed his opinion in public that the proliferation of illegal swertres can never be eradicated for as long as the legal draws of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office are not stopped.

Rama considers the mayor’s views as “tantamount to tolerating illegal activities” which are expressly prohibited by laws.

“Providing a lawyer to an arrested swertres financier and blatantly refusing to stop the illegal numbers game based on his public statements, the city mayor is criminally liable under RA 9287,” Rama stressed.

Moreover, Rama added that administrative charges can also be filed against the mayor which may warrant his disqualification from holding public office.

Rama challenged councilors Glovasa and Bantugan to explain their actuation in going to the house of Blanco during the raid.

“I heard Kag. Bantugan say during an interview over the radio that he went there (Blanco’s residence) after he got a call from Kag. Glovasa who sought for his support,” Rama said.

“Is it true that both councilors were at the residence of the said alleged illegal gambling financier? If it is true, then I condemn such act because they are duly elected representatives of the people of Tagbilaran and they should not be a party in any way to illegal acts. Even if they are both lawyers, they should draw a line between their legal profession and their responsibility as public servants,” Rama added.

Under RA 9287, a protector or coddler of illegal gambling operators bears a penalty of imprisonment of 16 to 20 years while any local government official who, having knowledge of the existence of the operation of any illegal numbers game in his jurisdiction, fails to abate or to take action, or tolerates the same can also be penalized with perpetual disqualification from public office.

Meanwhile, Blanco, while facing charges in violation of RA 9287, continues to serve as barangay captain of Mansasa as no administrative complaints have been filed against him.

In an interview over dyRD’s Inyong Alagad, City Local Government Operations Officer Mardonio Roxas said Blanco will continue to discharge his official functions since the case against him is still in court.

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Romans 10:9-10
"If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."

Where to Stay in Bohol? Book at Dao Diamond Hotel and Restaurant in Tagbilaran City. Online reservation at: https://www.daodiamond.com



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