4-day suspension of STL operations in Cotabato City lifted

By Edwin Fernandez

March 17, 2023, 3:50 pm

<p>Cotabato City Mayor Mohammad Ali Matabalao. <em>(Photo courtesy of Cotabato CIO)</em></p>

Cotabato City Mayor Mohammad Ali Matabalao. (Photo courtesy of Cotabato CIO)

COTABATO CITY – Mayor Mohammad Ali Matabalao on Friday lifted the four-day suspension of Small-Town Lottery (STL) operations in this city upon recommendation of the local police.

The temporary suspension of STL operations here stemmed from the Feb. 19 killing of STL operator Rizia Mae Ycot in Barangay Rosary Heights 10, allegedly perpetrated by illegal numbers game operators.

Matabalao suspended the STL operations on Monday to give way to the ongoing in-depth investigation of the city police office on the matter.

On Thursday, however, Matabalao received a report from Col. Querubin Manalang Jr., the city police director, informing him that the murder of Ycot had nothing to do with the STL operation.

“There is no evidence that will connect or link the shooting of Ycot to the alleged illegal numbers game operation in the city,” Manalang said.

Despite this, Matabalao directed the city police to intensify its operations against any illegal numbers game in the city’s 37 villages.

At least 300 STL agents earlier said their daily income has been affected by the suspension and appealed to Matabalao to resume their operations, saying theirs is a legal numbers game. (PNA)