Stop illegal gambling or face ax, police heads warned

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Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald de la Rosa directed all police regional directors to go after illegal gambling operations, giving them 15 days to clear out illegal gambling dens.

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“If they cannot stop illegal gambling, then I will relieve them. I am also going to relieve their provincial directors and I am giving the provincial directors the authority to relieve the police chiefs who are not performing or are not acting on my directive,” he told reporters.

De la Rosa also appealed to the legal small town lottery (STL) operators to be “true to themselves” once they are caught by responding authorities who are addressing illegal gambling.

He lamented that the STL operators have been using the PNP as the “whipping boy,” adding that illegal gambling has turned into a “social problem.”

“But still, law enforcement is the number one consideration. If you want to stop illegal gambling, we’ll accept the fact that we are failures in case that happens. But right now, we will go all out against illegal gambling,” De la Rosa said.

“I am also appealing to the STL operators, do not go white or red when you are being caught. It’s very sad on the part of the police to blame us. These STL operators, however, once we catch them and those involved they will say that it is legal,” he added.

“So now, let’s be frank, we will go all out and we’ll see who will be the tough guy here. I will eradicate all of you initiating illegal gambling operations,” De la Rosa said.

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