ORMOC CITY – In another unprecedented move by President Rodrigo Duterte, and with a record 24-hour compliance time, he ordered the stoppage and closure of all Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) outlets, all its gaming activities, to include lotto and small town lottery STL.
Here in this city, the Ormoc City Police Office (OCPO), under the leadership of Police City Director Col. Armel S. Gongona, immediately went to work, complying with the directive of the President Duterte.
According to Police Lt. Col. Joel R. Camacho (Deputy City Director for Operation, OCPO), the OCPO started their rounds in the city to implement the directive of PRRD right away on July 27, 2019, the day after PRRD’s announcement. On that same day, the OCPO reported 100% closed PCSO outlets though they are yet to identify how many exactly the lotto outlets are in the city.
He said that the implementation here in Ormoc went smoothly as some of the PCSO outlet owners willingly complied to the directive of PRRD. “Actually wala talaga kaming problema na na-encounter with the owners. In fact, prior our arrival, nag-close na rin sila eh. Last night pa, they were already informed of the directive of the President. So, hindi po talaga nahirapan ang kapulisan dito sa Ormoc City,” said Police Lt. Col. Camacho.
Meanwhile, in EV capital city, Tacloban, Police Regional Office 8 regional director BGen. Dionardo Carlos himself led the closure of STL outlets as early as 8 A.M. of Saturday, July 27.
It was during his rounds that the director met a winning STL bettor who was, accordingly, saddened when he saw a ‘temporary closed’ signage in an outlet in Brgy. 99, where he was about to claim his Php 1,500 prize. 40-year old Archie Dacut, said he won Friday night’s draw, which he is allotting to pay the Php 1,000 he owed to pay his electricity bills.
“Nangutang pa ako pambayad ng kuryente namin tapos baka wala akong makuha,” he lamented, showing his winning ticket to BGen. Carlos.
Gwenda Requiez, records in-charge of Victoria Development and Ventures Corp. (VDVC), said they were ordered to put the signage and stop accepting bets after the President’s order terminating the franchises and licenses of all gaming or gambling schemes granted by the PCSO, pending investigation for massive corruption.
VDVC is said to be the biggest in the city with over 60 employees excluding agents and supervisors.
However, she assured their bettors that they may claim their prizes from their coordinators.
Meanwhild, RD Carlos reiterated that the order is not a temporary closure, but stoppage of operation and closure of office.
“We follow the order of the commander-in-chief… ‘yung legal matters will come later on, on our part, we follow the order,” he stressed.
They also gave notices to the owners, and warned to arrest them if they do not heed to orders.
“We are doing this to make sure that we close them, to make it clear that they are following instructions, if they remove the signages we have put in their establishments, then they are violating the orders of the president,” he explained.
He added the mandate includes closure of illegal gaming and gambling operation, wherein they would also look into ‘Peryahan ng Bayan’, and PCSO machines.
“We were ordered to report within 24 hours the zero operation of lotto outlets in Eastern Visayas, but as early as 8A.M., our provincial directors acknowledged closure of other outlets all over the region,” he disclosed.