P30 million pirated DVDs, gambling machines crushed PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 24 February 2012 13:59

To show the City Government’s serious campaign against DVD piracy including gambling activities, Mayor Celso Lobregat and top officials from the Optical Media Board (OMB) yesterday destroyed pirated DVDs and gambling paraphernalia worth over P30 million.

The DVDs and the gambling equipment had been seized by policemen in a series of raids across the city but the bulk of the items crushed and shredded were yielded from the March 19, 2011 raid downtown, said to be the operation with the biggest haul in Visayas and Mindanao over the last few years.

Over 400,000 DVDs were shredded while 25 video carera machines seized during anti-gambling raids were smashed and flattened.

OMB Executive Director Atty. Cyrus Valenzuela, representing board chairman Ronnie Rickets, commended the city government for its strong and firm advocacy against counterfeit optical media and cited the Zamboanga LGU as an example in the OMB’s anti-piracy campaign.

The destruction was spearheaded by Mayor Lobregat and Atty. Valenzuela through the use of a roller compactor and shredder machine in full public view Thursday morning in front of City Hall. The mayor personally took the wheel of the roller and demonstrated how the pirated goods are being crashed and destroyed to prevent these from finding its way back to the market.

Atty. Valenzuela and OMB agents together with Councilors Percival Ramos, Rudy Lim and Nonong Guingona, City Administrator Antonio Orendain Jr. and Assistant Administrator Elmeir Apolinario assisted the mayor during the shredding and crushing procedure.

Mayor Lobregat said the city government will continue with earnest its campaign against pirated DVDs including pornographic materials as well as the anti-gambling advocacy.

It is recalled that personnel from the Optical Media Board-Manila in cooperation with the City Administrator’s Office and the City Hall Community Police Action Center (COMPAC) last March 19, 2011 swooped down on video rental stalls and sidewalks downtown and seized hordes of pirated DVDs and pornographic materials estimated to cost millions of pesos. Acting on a request of Mayor Lobregat, OMB Chair and Chief Executive Officer Ronald Rickets sent a 10-man team to Zamboanga to immediately conduct the operation.

Mayor Lobregat wrote Rickets on February 8, 2011 transmitting City Council Resolution 70 authored by Councilor Percival Ramos for information and appropriate action. The resolution called on the OMB, the police and other concerned agencies to operate against the counterfeit optical media and the blatant display of pornographic materials in some downtown stalls.

DVD piracy causes financial damage to the film industry and to related industries. — Sheila Covarrubias