No problem if retired cops, military have PCSO franchises as long it is done properly: Duterte
President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said there is no problem with him if retired police and military men are into Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office gaming franchises as long as they do it the proper way.
During his speech at the 118th Police Service Anniversary in Camp Crame, Duterte addressed what he called “burning issue” on the allegation against retired generals who are into Small Town Lottery (STL).
“Let me say this to you now. The allegations that police generals, retired, are into the STL, lotto and whatnot, I said: ‘You do not have a problem with me.’ If it’s a bidding (and) you participate, as long it is not rigged in your favor and you secure it complying with the laws no corruption, I will not begrudge you,” Duterte said.
“If you have friends who are millionaires and would finance a corporation and you are an corporator, I do not see any reason why you should not be in that business,” he added.
Duterte said what he is asking from them is not to oppress and pressure other competitors just for them to win.
“Do not oppress your competitors as they will shout foul and then you will drag me into the picture… If it is clean and you do not deprive government of money due to the country and the people, that’s okay with me. And I am addressing myself to all,” said Duterte.
Meanwhile, he told the officers to be assigned in areas where they are not operating or just establish a business in other parts of the country.
“As part of your honor, delicadeza, ask yourself to be assigned somewhere you are not operating or participant or corporator of a corporation doing business in your area,” he said.
“It’s not good if you are (the) chief of police there, you look for somewhere else. The Philippines is too big… invest in some other province,” Duterte added.
Duterte admitted that he doesn’t like gambling and even if he doesn’t want it, the law allows it.
“I never really like gambling. I don’t gamble. I don't like gambling. But if I create a vacuum, there will always be another activity that would take advantage of this organized people,” he said.
“Gambling per se is not good, but if it is allowed by law then I could not be more pompous than the Pope. There is a law. What I’m asking is do not shortchange the government,” he said.
Senator Panfilo Lacson Jr. who accused retired police and military generals that they have STL franchises and among those who have not been remitting the government’s share of the earnings.
Last month, Duterte ordered closure of all PCSO gaming outlets but then he ordered the lifting of suspension on lotto gaming after investigation found out that there is no corruption in that kind of game.
Duterte said he allowed lotto to return because it is clean and the results are being done electronically. However, he said he is still thinking of the lifting of suspension of STL.
“I’m still thinking on STL but lotto… I give the green light and that is my advice not only to you peace officers but also the military and for that matter, any government employee who is a citizen of these country, we should not be deprive ourselves of activity which can contribute,” Duterte said.
Duterte also hinted about his plan that will guarantee that the government will have its rightful share on earnings.
“We can always open your books and can always ask the policemen and military what is happening there,” he said. Ella Dionisio/DMS