MANILA – Gaming technology firm Globaltech Mobile Online Corp. on Saturday said it will file libel and contempt of court charges before the Court of Appeals (CA) and the Pasig City Regional Trial Court against the Philippine National Police (PNP) officials who continue to label its "Peryahan ng Bayan" as illegal gambling game.

Lawyer Bernard Vitriolo, Globaltech vice president for legal, said they were alarmed over the spread of maliciously false and baseless allegations against their "Peryahan ng Bayan" games.

He said their company has a valid Deed of Authority (DOA) issued by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to operate nationwide.

The CA, he added, has a final and executory ruling that affirmed a standing status quo ante (SQA) order issued by the Pasig City Regional Trial Court that allows them to operate the games nationwide.

"No less than the Court of Appeals has issued a ruling that effectively allows us to operate nationwide pending arbitration proceedings between us and the PCSO," he said.

Vitriolo said they are ready to file cases against PNP and even the National Bureau of Investigation officials, who will insist on making allegations that is "contemptuous" of the CA SQA order, and branding the Peryahan ng Bayan games as illegal.

"We are getting fed up by all these fake news that is sadly being given credence by our law enforcement officials who should know the law and respect our courts and enforce the final and executory orders this issue," Vitriolo said.

Vitriolo issued the statement following the PNP’s supposed orders for the strict enforcement of a "one-strike policy against police commanders who allow Peryahan games to operate in their jurisdiction.”

“We have to remind police commanders that there is a specific instruction from Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and PCSO chairperson Royina Garma that 'Peryahan ng Bayan' operations are no longer authorized,” PNP deputy chief for operations Valeriano de Leon said in a statement.

De Leon had cited that outgoing Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año had ordered the PNP and local government units to strictly enforce the ban on Peryahan ng Bayan operations.

He said he would recommend to PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. the relief of police chiefs if they fail to curb illegal gambling operations in their areas of jurisdiction.

Vitriolo, however, said they have already communicated with Año apprising him of the CA final and executory order that issued an SQA order allowing Globaltech to operate the Peryahan games nationwide while the PCSO and Globaltech are engaged in the arbitration of their dispute over the DOA that PCSO issued them for the Peryahan games.

"There were misrepresentations made by outgoing PCSO general manager Royina Garma on this matter to the DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government), the PNP and the National Bureau of Investigation," Vitriolo admitted.

Globaltech filed the original case before the Pasig City Regional Trial Court which was the first to issue an SQA. Subsequent appeals elevated the case to the CA. In January 2019, the CA had issued a ruling that stopped the PCSO's revocation of the DOA of Globaltech and affirmed the SQA issued by the Pasig Regional Trial Court.

"The January 14, 2019 CA ruling that stopped the revocation of Globaltech's DOA for the Peryahan games and also affirmed the Status Quo Ante Order issued by the Pasig RTC is final and executory. The RTC Pasig City had granted a writ of execution for a nationwide operation of the Peryahan games," Vitriolo said.

The same ruling had ordered the PCSO and Globaltech to enter into arbitration proceedings during which the PCSO should allow Globaltech to operate their PNB games nationwide.

The arbitration proceeding is now submitted for decision under the arbitration panel of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno, former Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro and lawyer Victor Lazatin of the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center.

"We have never operated illegally. We are a legitimate, duly registered, and law abiding private corporation," Vitriolo reiterated. (PNA)