923 lotto outlets closed down in Metro Manila: NCRPO
MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippine National Police (PNP) began shutting down lotto kiosks and other gaming outlets nationwide Saturday, after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the suspension of gaming schemes authorized by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
PNP chief Police Gen. Oscar Albayalde went to different lottery outlets in Baguio City to ask gaming outlets to close shop in line with the President's order.
National Capital Region Police Office chief Police Maj. General Guillermo Eleazar, meanwhile, said around 923 lotto outlets had been shut down in Metro Manila as of 1 p.m. Saturday.
Eleazar said they also arrested five persons caught in the act of illegal gambling Saturday morning.
The president gave law enforcers 24 hours starting July 27 to stop the gaming activities operated, licensed and franchised by PCSO due to alleged "massive corruption" in the agency.
These include outlets for lotto, small town lottery (STL), Keno and Peryahan ng Bayan.
The PCSO said it would ask the President to reconsider his indefinite suspension order.
Marikina City Mayor Marcy Teodoro, meanwhile, said he fully supports the President's order.
“Sa Marikina naman may moratorium na tayo sa ganitong pagsusugal, tumataya lang na maliit na tao, halos kulang na nga pang gastos eh sa ganito pang sugal mawawala ang kanilang pera,” he said.
(In Marikina we already have a moratorium on this form of gambling... people who earn little are the ones who bet, they are short for daily sustenance and yet lose their money in these types of gambling.)
Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto, meanwhile, said “pag-aaralan muna natin (we will study it first)," declining to give further comment.
Police also shut down outlets of lotto and STL in several other parts of the country.
In Bacolod and Negros Occidental, authorities went to different outlets to make sure that they had ceased operations.
Butuan City police also checked on gaming outlets and found that some kiosk owners had voluntarily closed shop.
From Biñan to Sta. Rosa in Laguna, authorities plastered closure orders on three establishments, as officers from the Calabarzon Police Regional Office inspected lottery outlets in the province.
Some business owners voluntarily stopped operations, while others said they were still unaware of the chief executive's directives.
In issuing the halt order, Duterte said it must be done.
"Wala ako magawa (There's nothing I can do). I have to do it. I will not honor transactions that are clearly on the side of, you know, scheming people, Republic of the Philippines, of the money due it," Duterte said.
"Puro dayaan lahat (Everything is a fraud). At 'yung mga kontrata ay parang (And it seems the contracts were) crafted in favor of corruption and to favor other corporations and people. I will not allow it," he said.
- with reports from Micaela Ilao, Angel Movido, Arra Perez, Charmaine Awitan, and Marty Go, ABS-CBN News