FOLLOWING reports that the “Peryahan ng Bayan” (PnB) has again resumed operations in several areas of the country by virtue of a previous court order allowing its operations, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Monday said that the illegal numbers game is still “suspended” by the Office of the President (OP) and that the court order has immediately been recalled after issuance.
At the same time, DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) and local government units (LGUs) to monitor if the “Peryahan ng Bayan” is continuously operating in their areas and further intensify its campaign against the illegal numbers game.
“Suspendido pa rin po ang operasyon ng ‘Peryahan ng Bayan’ kaya inaatasan ko ang PNP na ipagpatuloy ang maigting na kampanya para supilin ang lahat ng uri ng illegal gambling, kasama na ang PnB,” he said.
On January 29, 2020, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea issued a memorandum to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), clarifying that the resumption of PnB operations is still suspended.
This prompted the PCSO to suspend the operations of Peryahan games effective February 6, 2020 and to file an urgent manifestation with Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 161 stating that the PnB “does not bear the approval of the President and is therefore still subject to the suspension order of PCSO Games as pronounced by the President.”
In an order dated February 18, 2020, RTC Branch 161 took note of the memorandum from the Office of the President and the urgent manifestation filed by PCSO and recalled the “Writ of Execution” issued on January 24, 2020, which allowed the operations of PnB.
“The DILG takes note of the recall order issued by the court. Unless the said order is overturned by the same court or court of higher jurisdiction, the recall order is effective and should be implemented. Hence, the operations of Peryahan ng Bayan are still suspended,” said Año.
The DILG Secretary issued the clarification after receiving reports that PnB operations continue in several areas of the country because operators are showing the Writ of Execution issued by the RTC to law enforcers and LGUs to prevent them from stopping their operations.
“Hindi tumitigil ang Peryahan dahil ipinapakita ng mga PnB operators ang Writ of Execution ng RTC Branch 161. Wala na pong saysay ang order na iyon dahil recalled na ito. Samakatuwid, tigil operasyon na dapat ang mga Peryahan,” Año emphasized.
Last March, DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya warned the public against fake news that the DILG Secretary allegedly directed the PNP to allow the operation of PnB.
He said Secretary Año has not and never issued such a directive to the PNP to condone illegal gambling activities such as Peryahan ng Bayan. By Jun I. Legaspi