Duterte says Boracay residents want a no-casino policy in the island
President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday that it’s the residents of Boracay who insist on a no-casino policy in the famous resort island.
“Ang survey dito, ang mga tao ng Boracay, ayaw ng sugal (A survey conducted here showed that the people do not want gambling in Boracay),” Duterte told reporters in an interview after he presided over the distribution of land to agrarian reform beneficiaries in Boracay.
“If it is the wish of the population here that they do not want a casino, then it will be a no casino,” he added.
Duterte had earlier claimed that he is against the building of a casino in Boracay after Galaxy Macau’s Galaxy Entertainment Group and its local partner, AB Leisure Exponent Inc., announced plans to build a $500-million integrated casino resort in the island.
Duterte said Filipinos would not gain anything from a casino in Boracay.
The President also noted that casinos tend to be “dysfunctional” and tend to cause a lot of irregularities to happen from illegal drugs proliferation to kidnapping and other crimes.
“Marami diyan (irregularities), policemen who are in the business of fixing things, money lenders, and people who really kidnapped foreigner, as a reason why it’s almost, pag pinasok mo, Philippine contemporary scene, the hotel with the casino is not good because there are a lot of things will happen,” Duterte said.
“It becomes dysfunctional actually. Kidnappings, drugs and everything. And it is a place where most of the gangster around or thereabout or just stay there and commit crimes of sort,” he added.
The President said he believes an executive order is not necessary to stop companies from building casinos in Boracay.
This was after Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said that an EO will be needed to enforce the casino ban earlier ordered by the President.
“I’ll just say that huwag na lang. Anyway, it’s a privilege whether I put it in writing or just say it verbally. It is not a requirement that I should really be writing something,” he said. /ee
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