Albayalde refutes ‘theatrics’ remark of Nancy Binay over Lotto crackdown
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde refuted on Monday the criticism from Senator Nancy Binay on what she called the “misplaced sense of priority” of the police in the crackdown against gaming operations of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
Albayalde said the PNP has more than 180,000 police officers who are not only focused on serving closure notices to gaming outlets, including Lotto and small town lottery (STL), as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte.
“It is a one day operation noong Saturday. Hindi naman naubos ang ating pulis dito,” he said in a press briefing at Camp Crame. “Tapos na ‘yung closure. It’s one day. Saturday tapos na po lahat,” he said.
(It’s a one day operation on Saturday. Our entire police force was not concentrated on this. The closure was finished. It’s one day. We finished it all on Sunday.)
Binay earlier called out the PNP for its “overkill” and “OA (overacting)” response to Duterte’s directive for closing down “non-operating betting stations that are already out of business.”
“Please veer away from the theatrics. Let the full force of the law crush down on hardened criminals, drug lords, and murderers. Ano ba ang kailangan mas i-prioritize ng PNP–ang pag-padlock ng lotto outlets, o pagsugpo ng krimen? Place the highest priority on going after criminals,” she said.
Albayalde however assured the PNP is not setting aside its drive against criminality and drugs despite fulfilling Duterte’s order.
“We all know our mandate. Hindi tayo pwedeng nakatutok dyan tapos babantayan mo. It’s not literally na babantayan ‘yung Lotto outlets para hindi magbukas (We cannot just focus on that. We will not literally guard Lotto outlets so that it will not open again). We have many people and our police are dedicated policemen who will do anti-criminality also. We will not relent on our police operations,” he said.
Data from the PNP released Monday showed a total of 30,284 gaming outlets operated by the PCSO have been shut down. /je
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