PNP to cops: Going to casino, other gambling facilities violates many laws

Published November 24, 2018, 5:11 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Martin Sadongdong

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Saturday reminded its 180,000-strong personnel that going to casinos and other gambling facilities violates a number of laws established to promote a high standard of ethics among public servants.

Philippine National Police Spokesperson Senior Supt. Benigno Durana Jr. (Kevin Tristan Espiritu / MANILA BULLETIN)
Philippine National Police Spokesperson Chief Supt. Benigno Durana Jr.
(Kevin Tristan Espiritu / MANILA BULLETIN)

Chief Supt. Benigno Durana Jr., PNP spokesperson, reiterated that the police organization will “continue to strictly implement existing regulations that prohibit lawmen inside casinos, gambling establishments and places of ill-respute.”

“We have an administrative order from President [Duterte] if I’m not mistaken regarding that and it is also included in our professional conduct and ethical standards. We are prevented from visiting gambling joints,” Durana said.

As workers in government, he emphasized that all PNP personnel are governed by the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials under Republic Act 6713 which prescribes a set norms to promote a high standard of ethics in public service.

Aside from that, Durana noted that Presidential Decrees 1067-B and 1869, which created the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor), forbid government officials, members of uniformed services, students and minors from gambling in casinos.

Meanwhile, he also cited Memorandum Circular Number 6 issued by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea in September 2016 which orders all public officials and employees, including the military and police, to strictly observe all laws prohibiting them from entering, staying or playing in casinos.

Violation of any of the said laws could lead to dismissal from service of cops, he noted.

Durana was reacting to the recent warning of Duterte to cops to avoid staying near the premises of Okada Manila casino in Parañaque City.

“‘Yung Okada dyan, put*** *** nyan. I’d like to announce lahat kayong pulis umalis kayo dyan (That [expletive] Okada. I’d like to announce, all of you policemen, leave there). It’s crawling with usurers, kidnappers,” Duterte was quoted as saying during the launch of the Cavite Gateway Terminal on Thursday.

Duterte added that aside from providing security, police seen in casinos have no other reason but to commit a crime.

For its part, the management of Okada Manila has issued a statement reiterating their commitment to support the President’s order.

Asked what could have prompted the expletive-laden warning of the President, Durana said the commander-in-chief must have received reports about cops loitering in casinos recently.

“Probably, he got information or reports there are again cops seen in casinos despite his warning,” he said.

In January 2018, then PNP chief, Director General Ronald dela Rosa led the ceremonial unveiling of warning sign prohibiting government employees from entering and gambling in casinos at Solaire Resort and Casino in Parañaque City.

Several days later, a policewoman from Cebu City, PO2 Cyrelle Marie Bayate, was caught by his collegaues playing inside a hotel casino. Another government employee, Cordova, Cebu Mayor Lemuel Pogoy was also arrested after playing in a casino in Lapu-Lapu City.

At present, Durana said the PNP has yet to receive reports about cops getting involved in casino gambling but added their intelligence monitoring is continuously being implemented.

“Again, we remind all the police officers that you should not do these things because it is not only a violation of the directive of the President but also a violation of our professional conduct and ethical standards,” Durana concluded.