Mini-casinos flourish in Benguet
By ACE ALEGRE
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — Mini-casinos purportedly operated by a bakery owner known only as “Karate” remains unabated here.
In an interview with this writer, it has been a menace even Mayor Greg Abalos acknowledges as difficult to combat because of alleged deep connections of the operators with the police and other influential officials in the province.
“I know that operation,” Mayor Abalos admits, “but it is difficult to stamp out because everytime the Office of the Mayor coordinates a raid on suspected joints, we find nothing because maybe they were tipped earlier ’
Abalos said that his is still looking into possible ways to nail down the “Karate” and his supposed establishments in the town suspected of a venue for the gambling activities.
Sources alleged Karate operates several venues in the capital town “guerilla style” including those very near the La Trinidad trading post for the Spanish card game “monte”, and other card games.
Even the Benguet police claim difficulty at tracking “Karate” and his operations in the capital town as he has become so crafty with his “cat-and-mouse” operations. “I am hunting him down,” vows Benguet police intelligence chief Supt. Mario Mayam-es.
Mayor Abalos said he too is investigating the alleged connections of “Karate” with the police and other influential town and provincial officials.
Aside however from avowals by town officials and police to stop it, town residents, especially wives and mothers continue to reach out to them to exercise will to put a stop to “Karate’s” operation which according to them has been going on for years. “Otherwise, they are just all talk or “perhaps they might also even be recipients,” said a mother at barangay Pico, just a stones-throw away from a gambling venue beside the La Trinidad trading post that Karate reportedly operates. # nordis.net