PNP says there is ''possibility'' illegal number games will return
The head of the Philippine National Police ( PNP) on Monday said there is a ''possibility'' illegal numbers game will return after the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to close all Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) licensed and franchised gaming outlets.
In a press briefing, Police General Oscar Albayalde said:"There is a possibility. We are not saying that it will happen but it's a possibility that illegal numbers game will return, particularly 'jueteng'''.
Albayalde said they received intelligence information that illegal numbers game is operating in two Central Luzon provinces.
Albayalde said the PNP shut down more than 30,000 PCSO gaming outlets after their one- day operation last July 27.
"In response to the order of the president for a stop to all gaming operations of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, as of this hour, a total of 30, 284 PCSO gaming outlets operating Small Town Lottery (STL), Lotto, Keno and Peryahan ng Bayan (PNB) nationwide had been closed and had ceased operations upon due notice from PNP," said Albayalde.
Data showed PNP closed 20, 241 STL outlets, 190 STL drawing centers, 6, 313 lotto, 2, 762 Peryahan ng Bayan and 778 Keno outlets.
Albayalde said they did not experience resistance from people as they voluntarily closed their outlets. But they received reports activities are going on despite closure.
"They close the outlet but the activity is on going... we have yet to validate the information and once validated, we will make an arrest," he said.
The PNP chief assured the public they will not concentrate on this operation and will be more focused on anti-criminality.
Albayalde made the statement after some senators criticized the organization after their crackdown.
"We have a lot of police, not everyone will be assign here... The monitoring of closure, it goes with the daily activities of the different stations nationwide," he said.
"We all know our mandate. We have dedicated policemen that will do the anti-criminality also particularly on wanted persons, on illegal drugs, we will not relent on our operations," he added.
With the closure, Albayalde said their health services will be affected by the closure of outlets but because of the P25 million health fund given by President Rodrigo Duterte they can still provide health services to police personnel.
"In a way it can be affected but remember, we also received 25 million (pesos) coming from the Office of the President for purchase of medicine," said Albayalde.
He also clarified that under the PNP, there are several ways of giving directives, not only through documents.
"And verbal directive is one, that's binding. We have a Viber group (and) no less than SILG (Eduardo Año) also ordered us to implement the directive of the president. So that is all enough for us," he said.
Last Friday evening, Duterte ordered the closure of PCSO outlets due to "massive corruption" allegations in the organization. Ella Dionisio/DMS