Duterte stops all PCSO gaming activities including lotto, STL
MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered all gaming activities of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), including lotto, stopped due to alleged “massive corruption” in the agency.
In a video message posted by Malacañang on Facebook, Duterte lamented how courts supposedly got into corruption by issuing injunctions to stop the government from going after the perpetrators of fraudulent activities.
Following this announcement, Philippine National Police chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde, told radio station DZMM early Saturday that police teams would be deployed “first thing in the morning” to shut down lotto and other PCSO gaming outlets throughout the country.
“I have today ordered the closure, the stoppage of all gaming schemes or whatever nature however done that got the franchises to do so from the PCSO. The ground is massive corruption involving all…pati the courts who repeatedly issued injunctions to paralyze government and to allow corruption to thrive,” Duterte said in the video posted late Friday night.
Duterte’s order includes PCSO’s Lotto, Small Town Lottery (STL) and Peryahan ng Bayan.
“Pending investigation, lahat ho ng laro ng lotto, STL, Peryahan ng Bayan, or whatever nature, there’s one that ‘yung gambling machine, Keno, I said all gaming activities. ‘Yung gambling, that got the franchise from (the) government through PCSO, are, as of today, suspended or terminated because of massive corruption,” he said.
The President ordered Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde and the military to arrest anyone who would continue to operate beginning Saturday.
“I am ordering the PNP, PNP Chief Albayalde, to arrest anybody, and goes also for the military, to arrest people engaged in gambling activities in connection with the franchises, licenses, concessions granted by the PCSO,” he said.
“I will give them 24 hours to remove them from public places. Tomorrow, beginning tomorrow at sunrise, everything, all transactions and gaming, wager of bets, becomes illegal,” he continued.
The Chief Executive stressed that he would also not honor any court order from now on that would stop the government from investigating the corruption allegations in the PCSO.
And if he would have his way, Duterte said he would close all forms of gambling in the Philippines but he will first talk to Congress leaders about it.
“If I were to give my sentiment about gambling, mas gusto ko mawala ito lahat (I want them all gone). Kung meron naman… I will, maybe, confer with leaders of Congress muna,” he added.
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