COTABATO CITY: Some 8,000 people in North Cotabato and its capital Kidapawan City immediately became jobless with Saturday’s shutdown of lottery outlets as ordered by Malacañang.
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the shutdown late Friday, citing corruption, mishandling of lottery revenues and other fund anomalies the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) as reasons.
Catholic radio station DxND in Kidapawan City said in a Facebook post that some 8,000 people working for PCSO’s Lotto and Small Town Lottery (STL) outlets had been rendered jobless and out of descent livelihood by the enforcement of the President’s order.
Region 12 (Soccsksargen) Police Director Brig. Gen. Eliseo Tam Rasco ordered all provincial and city police directors and municipal police station chiefs in the region to inspect and close down all PCSO lottery outlets.
He also instructed their units to arrest violators or operators, who would insist on continuing the operations of any lotto or STL station.
Rasco personally led the inspection and closure of lotto stations in shopping malls and other commercial establishments, as well as those that mushroomed by the roadside within General Santos City’s 26 barangay (villages).
He said some lotto and STL outlets still opened on Saturday despite the Duterte’s stoppage order.
“We talked to their owners and operators, and properly explained the grounds of the closure of their establishments,” Rasco told reporters.
Soccsksargen covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and North Cotabato, as well as the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong and Kidapawan.
“All our units have already started implementing the closure order based on our monitoring,” Rasco said.
The North Cotabato Provincial Police and its component units also carried out the shutdown, which included a big lotto outlet operated by the Miracle Pick Gaming Corp. in Barangay Lanao.
According to DxND, in spite of the shutdown there was no untoward incident that disrupted the police operations.