9 South Cotabato cops sacked for allegedly receiving gambling payoffs

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GENERAL SANTOS CITY — Nine police officers assigned to the South Cotabato town of Banga have been relieved for allegedly receiving payoffs from illegal gambling operators.

Senior Supt. Joel Limson, South Cotabato police director, said Tuesday he ordered the relief of the policemen after confirming their connections to operators of the “last two” illegal numbers game.

Limson said the relieved policemen were all members of the intelligence unit of the Banga municipal police station.

He said he earlier ordered the police unit to launch a crackdown against the rampant illegal gambling activities in the area but did comply.

Instead, the erring policemen submitted operational accomplishment reports to his office that were “all drama,” Limson said.

“These were non-performing policemen. They did not conduct operations against illegal gambling as they were actually receiving payola from the operators,” he said in an interview.

Limson said they discovered the misdeed following an assessment of the operational accomplishments of the province’s 11 city and municipal police stations on illegal gambling and illegal drugs.

He said his office has also been receiving reports against the erring policemen for their supposed connection to the gambling underworld.

Limson also issued a stern warning to the town’s chief of police, Chief Insp. Verlin Pampolina, warning that they would be reassigned to other local police stations if they fail to properly perform their duties and assignments.

Limson, who only assumed as provincial police director early last month, said they will continue to evaluate the performance and operational accomplishments of local police stations.

In the past three weeks, he already relieved two town police chiefs and issued warnings to four others due to performance problems.

The official also banned smoking in all police stations and ordered the monitoring of cockpits and related establishments for the possible presence of policemen. -PNA

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