Duterte verbal order enough for PCSO closures, arrests – PNP

Rambo Talabong
Duterte verbal order enough for PCSO closures, arrests – PNP
(UPDATED) 'There are several ways of giving directives. And verbal directive is one. That’s binding,' says Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – President Rodrigo Duterte’s verbal order to shut down all gaming schemes operated, licensed, and franchised by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and to make the necessary arrests is enough for police to move.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde said during a press briefing at Camp Crame on Monday, July 29: “In the PNP, especially us in our organization, even probably in the military, there are several ways of giving directives. And verbal directive is one. That’s binding.” 

This comes after the police executed a nationwide closure order of PCSO gaming offices, even reporting that they had made arrests. (READ: Police begin crackdown on PCSO games after Duterte order)

Duterte’s order spans the police and the military to arrest people “engaged in gambling activities in connection with the franchises, licenses, concessions granted by the PCSO.”

 

Based on numbers from the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) alone, police have arrested 5 in Metro Manila. Ideally, closure orders and arrests are made with valid documents such as warrants.

Albayalde also downplayed the closure of PCSO offices, saying that they were able to complete Duterte’s order within a day.

“The closure is done. It’s one day, Saturday, then after the President announced it at dawn, it was done,” Albayalde said in Filipino.

Albayalde added that the verbal order of Duterte was supplemented by a written order by Eduardo Año, the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government, sent to the police’s top brass through mobile messaging applications.

In a press briefing on Monday afternoon, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año admitted that not even his office has received any paper formalizing Duterte’s order.

“Sa ngayon ang aking opisina ay wala pang natatanggap mula sa Malacañang, but ‘yong declaration ng closure, which I confirmed to the President yesterday when we were in Batanes,” Año said at the DILG headquarters in Quezon City. 

(Right now, my office has not received anything from Malacañang, but the declaration of closure, I confirmed to the President yesterday when we were in Batanes.)

Asked whether the President’s words were enough for arrests and closures, Año said: “Yes, being the Chief Executive, that is enough.” 

On Saturday morning, the PCSO directed all its gaming offices and agents to cease operations up until they appeal for Duterte to reconsider his decision. – Rappler.com

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.