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HomeThe RegionNorthern Mindanao‘Alsa Ozamiz’ launched; illegal gambling machines destroyed

‘Alsa Ozamiz’ launched; illegal gambling machines destroyed

OZAMIZ City––Aimed at finally shedding the city’s negative perception for good, the people here have stepped up their campaign against all forms of criminalities, especially illicit drugs and illegal gambling.

Close to ten thousand residents braved the rain at the Cotta Square to attend the “Alsa Ozamiz City” movement which was launched Wednesday night.

Fed up with the criminal activities being blamed on them that has besmirched the city’s image for so long, Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog said that with the participation of the people, the Alsa Ozamiz will take off.

“Our target is to get rid of all forms of criminalities here in Ozamiz. For a long time, we have been blamed for the crimes being committed elsewhere. With Alsa Ozamiz, it has to change,” the vice mayor said.

She said the city government has invited all residents to join Alsa Ozamiz and those who will not support will be suspected of committing illegal activities.

She said they are confident it will be achieved with coordination of the new city police director, Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido, who came from Albuera, Leyte and was involved in a controversy when he filed criminal complaints against known drug personalities in that province including Kerwin Espinosa whose father Rolando Sr. was killed last year.

With the launching of the Alsa Ozamiz, the local government here has intensified its campaign against illicit activities when more than 500 illegal gambling machines were destroyed after they were voluntarily turned over by residents.

Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. said it was the people themselves who surrendered the 560 “video karera” and “tolelong” machines to the city government.

He said the illegal gambling is linked to the proliferation of the illegal drug use.

“We found out that those who take shabu are also the patrons of these video games. We have already reduced the illegal drug use in the city, but we want to eliminate it by going after illegal gambling as well,” Parojinog said.

To show to the people of Ozamiz that the city government is sincere in its drive against illegal gambling, the machines were smashed at the city hall grounds on Wednesday afternoon witnessed by residents.

“This is just the first wave,” the mayor told reporters at the sidelines. “In the coming days, those who will not turn over their video game machines will be charged with criminal cases. It would be easier for them to just surrender the machines to the police rather than face charges,” he added.

So far, he said, the people of Ozamiz have been responsive to Parojinog’s call. When it was announced early this week that the gambling machines will be confiscated if not turned over, people personally brought their “video kareras” and “tolelongs” to the city government.

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