President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the arrest of Chinese gambling operator Jack Lam over bribery and economic sabotage charges, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa said Saturday.
The development came after the arrest of almost 1,000 Chinese workers who were illegally working in Lam's online gaming office in Pampanga and his alleged attempt to bribe government officials to free his men, Dela Rosa said on DZMM.
"So far, and inuutos lang sakin ng presidente ngayon si Jack Lam lang muna. Dun siya galit na galit at gustong mahuli kaagad," Dela Rosa said.
(So far, the President only ordered Jack Lam's arrest. The President is very mad and wants him to be captured immediately.)
Duterte, however, has no orders yet regarding former police official Wally Sombero who acted as Lam's interpreter when he allegedly tried to bribe Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre III and Philippine Gaming Corporation chief Andrea Domingo.
"So far, wala pa akong natanggap na instruction (kay Sombero) kung kasama pero sige, damay na din natin yun. Pag nakita natin, hulihin na rin," Dela Rosa said.
(So far, I was not instructed to arrest Sombero but we'll also arrest him once we see him.)
And although an official arrest warrant and hold departure order have yet to be released against Lam and Sombero, police officials will still proceed with the arrest as it is the chief executive's command, Dela Rosa said.
"Kami na ang bahala diyan kung ma-illegal arrest kami basta meron kaming batayan... I am just acting the orders of the President," he said.
(We'll can take care of that if we will be cited for illegal arrest but we'll do it as long as we have a basis... I am just acting on the orders of the President.)
"I presume ginagawa na ng Department of Justice ang kaso sa kanya so yun na huhulihin natin," he added.
(I presume the Department of Justice is already working on a cahse against him so we will go ahead and arrest him.)
NO NEED FOR WARRANT
In a separate interview on dzMM, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said Duterte did not inform his department when he ordered the arrest of Lam.
But he noted that there is no need to issue an arrest warrant since Lam’s case is that of a “continuing crime.”
He added that such a warrantless arrest would be legal, citing the case of former President and now House Deputy Speaker Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo as an example.
Aguirre said a possible bribery case may soon be filed against Lam since a witness is already willing to testify.
“Yung isa sa mga present dun sa pangyayari eh handang makipag-cooperate na alam ni Jack Lam yung pagsasabi sa akin na ako’y gagawing ninong o tagapag-alaga niya,” he said.
(One of those present during the incident is willing to testify that Jack Lam knew when I was told that I would be his godparent or caretaker.)