Mayor Bongat: No to STL in Naga City

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard)—Mayor John Bongat vehemently objects to the operation of Small Town Lottery (STL) in this city based on legal and moral grounds.

“I have always been against any form of gambling, but especially STL, which does not differ from jueteng except for its cloak of legality given by the national government,” he told the Bicol Standard this morning.

“Hence it will, like jueteng, corrode the moral fiber of our fellow Nagueños who will be addicted to this form of gambling,” he said.

The local chief executive added that STL will also promote indolence and induce dependence on luck rather than good, old-fashioned hard work to better their future.

Bongat thus requested authority from the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod to file a case for Injunction with Prayer for Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Prohibition Injunction against Evenchance Gaming Corporation (hereafter Evenchance) from operating STL within the territorial jurisdiction of Naga City.

Evenchance holds office at DSI Building, Magsaysay Avenue, Naga City, and is represented by its Vice President Jerome A. Bañez, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), represented by its General Manager Alexander Balutan.

“Evenchance justifies its operation of STL in Naga City with the decision of Regional Trial Court Branch 213 in Mandaluyong City permanently stopping PCSO from implementing its board resolutions intending to accept applicants for and awarding STL agency agreement in the Province of Camarines Sur, and directing Evenchance to wind up its operations in said province,” Bongat noted.

“However, while geographically, Naga City is inside Camarines Sur, the former is an independent component city. Ironically, while said decision applies only to the province of Camarines Sur, Evenchance is not operating in the province but inside the territorial jurisdiction of Naga City,” he explained.

“Legally, Evenchance’s operation of STL in Naga City stands on precarious ground,” he stressed.
The request was sent to Vice Mayor and Presiding Officer of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Naga City Nelson S. Legacion.

Meanwhile, Bongat added that he has informed Senior Supt. Felix Servita, City Director of the Naga City Police Office, of this issue.

Servita replied that he has referred the same to the legal section of Police Regional Office 5, and has not received any word as of press time.