Duterte OK with police involvement in 'clean' gambling ops

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 09 2019 06:13 PM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte said Friday he was OK with the involvement of policemen in gambling businesses as long as their operations remain “clean.”

Duterte said he would not hold a grudge against police officers running businesses such as small-town lottery (STL) kiosks, for as long as they pay proper dues.

“As long as it is not rigged in your favor and you secure it complies with the laws, no corruption [then] I will not begrudge you,” he said in a speech during the 118th Police Service Anniversary.

The President said police officers running STL operations should simply ask to be assigned in places where they do not run gambling businesses out of delicadeza.

“If it’s clean, you don’t deprive government of money due to the country and the people, OK sa akin,” he said.

Duterte on July 26 suspended the operations of all gaming schemes granted by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), citing "massive corruption" in the agency.

His order prompted authorities to shut down over 30,000 lotto outlets and other gaming kiosks.

Lotto operations, however, resumed on July 31 after the Palace explained that the numbers game was only dragged into corruption allegations hounding the entire PCSO.

Gaming schemes such as the Peryahan ng Bayan, STL, and Keno remain suspended pending results of an investigation.

State regulators had said that some STL operators were under-remitting to the state. The shortfall amounted to at least P4 billion from 2017 to 2018.

The President said he is still thinking about whether to allow the resumption of STL operations.

“Ewan ko pag-isipan ko muna 'yang STL,” he said.

(I don’t know, I still have to think about STL)