3,311 gaming outlets closed in Region 12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/29 July) – A total of 3,311 gaming outlets licensed by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) in Region 12 have ceased their operations over the weekend following the closure order issued by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Lt. Col. Jemuel Siason, chief of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-12’s operations management division, said Monday their monitoring showed that all lotto, small town lottery (STL) and Keno gaming outlets or stations in the region are already closed.

He said most of these voluntarily terminated their operations but there are some that still opened last Saturday and were eventually closed down by local police personnel.

“As of this (Monday) morning, PCSO’s gaming scheme outlets in the entire Soccsksargen are 100 percent closed and we are monitoring this on a daily basis,” he said in an interview over a local television program.

Since Saturday, Siason said they recorded a total of 1,317 inspections and stoppage operations for PCSO gaming schemes conducted in the entire region.

PRO-12 has operational jurisdiction over the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and North Cotabato, and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong and Kidapawan.

Police personnel posted tarpaulins and notices at the gaming outlets declaring them as closed on orders from the President.

Siason said their personnel did not experience any resistance from any operator, especially those who were unaware of the closure order, and eventually obliged after getting proper explanation.

President Duterte issued a stoppage order on Friday to all gaming schemes run by the PCSO due to “massive corruption.”

He directed the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to close down or remove all concerned outlets from public spaces within 24 hours.

Lt. Col. Aldrin Gonzales, PRO-12 spokesperson, said urged residents to immediately report to the nearest police station or police hotline numbers if there are gaming outlets that still operate in their areas.

He said Brig Gen. Eliseo Rasco, PRO-12 director, directed all police units to regularly monitor the situation within their areas of responsibility.

“We will file appropriate cases against those that would still open,” he added. (MindaNews)