Ex-Iloilo top cop asked to ‘lobby’ for STL ops

Police Colonel Roland Vilela (left photo), the former Iloilo provincial police chief, said some people attempted to exploit his cordial ties with his ex-wife, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office General Manager Royina Garma (right photo), in lobbying for Small Town Lottery operations in the province.

By Jennifer P. Rendon

Taking a shortcut?

At least six persons personally asked Police Colonel Roland Vilela, the former Iloilo provincial police chief, to lobby for and even operate Small Town Lottery (STL) in the province.

How could a police officer have a hand in STL operation when it is under the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO)?

Alam kasi nila na classmate ko si Colonel Garma,” Vilela said.

Garma is Royina Garma, the current PCSO general manager and Vilela’s classmate at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) Class 1997.

Those who asked for Vilela’s help might have thought that he could be an asset to their supposed STL application since Garma is Vilela’s ex-wife.

While the two are estranged as a couple, they remain friends.

Hindi naman sakop ‘yun ng trabaho ko. If they want to bid, they could go to the PCSO,” he said.

Saying that he’s hands-off on the matter as “I know for a fact that Garma can’t be persuaded into favoring someone.”

Last week, the PCSO announced the opening of 38 areas in the country for STL applications.

Garma declared the opening of STL applications “pursuant to the instructions of the PCSO Board of Directors.”

Starting Feb. 5, 2020 until 3 p.m. of March 5, 2020, the “PCSO shall receive applications in which the Guaranteed Minimum Monthly Retail Receipts (GMMRR) shall be based on the 2019 voting population of the said areas.

The city and province of Iloilo are two of the 38 areas that were opened to STL applicants. The other areas in Western Visayas that were declared “open” to prospective operators were Antique, Aklan, Negros Occidental, Bacolod City, and Capiz.