On Saturday, July 27, the Philippine National Police began shutting down lotto kiosks and other gaming outlets nationwide, after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the suspension of gaming schemes operated, licensed, and franchised by the PCSO on Friday night for alleged corruption.
PNP chief Police Gen. Oscar Albayalde with Cordillera Police Regional Director BGen. Ephraim Dickson personally went to different lottery outlets in Baguio City to ask gaming outlets to close shop in line with the President's order. Albayalde was in Baguio City during the weekend for official function.
“The order of the President was very explicit that for those who would not follow the directive within 24 hours after the issuance of the order, will be arrested. In fact, a little past midnight upon learning of the order to close all schemes which were given franchises by the PCSO, we immediately gave a directive to all regional directors to close all Keno outlets, Small Town Lotteries, Peryahan ng Bayan, and lotto outlets among others because there may still be other schemes which were issued with franchises by the PCSO,” said Albayalde.
At least 93 lotto, STL, Keno and other outlets sanctioned by the PCSO have been closed in the Cordillera region.
But three days after, the suspension of lotto operations was ordered lifted by the President because investigators found no anomalies in the conduct of its operations, however the rest of all gaming operations shall remain suspended pending the investigation of alleged illegal activities and corrupt practices related thereto.
The PNP chief immediately ordered all units to visit all lotto outlets and assist operators in removing the signs if needed.
Despite the resumption of lotto operations, Dickson said all outlets are subject to monitoring of unit commanders.
Illegal gambling activities are also being monitored, he added. (JDP/RMC- PIA CAR)