PNP to strictly enforce ban on cops entering casinos

MANILA -- The Philippine National Police (PNP) will continue to strictly enforce its ban on cops setting foot in casinos, gambling establishments and places of ill-repute, its spokesperson Chief Supt. Benigno Durana said Saturday.

As workers in government, PNP personnel are governed by the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials under Republic Act No. 6719 that prescribes a set of norms that promote a high standard of ethics in public service, Durana said in a statement.

Moreover, Presidential Decrees 1067-B and 1869, which created the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), forbids government officials, members of uniformed services, students and minors from gambling in casinos. Memorandum Circular 6, signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea in 2016, restated the ban, he added.

Durana made this remark after President Rodrigo Duterte issued a stern warning against cops engaging in gambling activities, particularly in hotels and casinos.

Meanwhile, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Guillermo Eleazar said Duterte's order is not new to them.

"Dati naman po talagang may direktiba na ang ating Pangulong Duterte at atin pong Chief PNP kahit noong si General (Ronald) dela Rosa pa, talaga pong bawal (This was the directive previously made by President Duterte and retired PNP Chief dela Rosa, and it is indeed unlawful)," Eleazar said.

"Actually hindi lang pulis (pati) mga government officials na nasa casino. Pero ngayon ito mismong hotel eh ganon na po, di na rin pwedeng mag-istambay diyan unless mayroon pong official business (Apart from police personnel, the ban covers government officials spotted in casinos. But this time, they can't hang around inside hotels, unless they have an official business)," he added.

Duterte on Thursday threatened to assign Army Rangers to patrol Roxas Blvd. in Manila if police personnel do not stop engaging in gambling activities.

He warned cops against staying anywhere near casino resort and hotel Okada Manila in ParaAaque, which he described as crawling with usurers and kidnappers.

Eleazar said they have yet to monitor any police personnel going inside or getting involved in activities in casinos.

"Recently, I have not monitored any irregularity. Many reacted because we follow our previous guidelines. Right now, I have not monitored any police involved in that," he said in Filipino.

"I can only assume that the President, of course he has a lot of information. So there could have been previous incidents," he added.

He assured that intelligence gathering against policemen violating the order is underway. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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