Just My Opinion
By Raissa Robles
On the night of July 26, a Friday, the presidential palace posted on Facebook a video of President Rodrigo Duterte ordering not only “the closure” of all lotto and other state-run gaming outlets, but also the “arrest” of anyone who defied his order.
He declared all these games “illegal because as of today, all of those permits and concessions or whatever are terminated” on his orders. His reason—to stop “massive corruption”.
What followed next eerily reminded me of Ferdinand Marcos’ imposition of Martial Law, which started also on a Friday night.
Think about this.
By the afternoon of the next day, according to an ABS-CBN report, the police had shut down 21,173 lotto stores and gaming outlets NATIONWIDE.
When were the police given Duterte’s verbal directive—which was issued past office hours? And which to this day has not been formalized in a written order?
We can presume that shutting down such a vast number of establishments nationwide, complete with the yellow tape, spray paint and printed signs, required elaborate preparation and coordination.
The Philippine National Police chief, Director-General Oscar Albayalde himself went to Baguio City to oversee the closures there.
According to this ABS-CBN report, Albayalde had no written order to justify the closures. All he was showing around was the video of Duterte on Facebook ordering the closure and arrests.
Philippine police chief shuts down lotto outlet in Baguio City. Micaella Ilao reports. #ANCRecap pic.twitter.com/5TTxwr2Wha
— ABS-CBN News Channel (@ANCALERTS) July 27, 2019
In Metro Manila, least five people who defied the order were arrested, according to a CNN Philippine report, quoting National Capital Region Guillermo Eleazar, while ABS-CBN reported that all 2,211 lotto outlets were shuttered.
NCRPO chief P/MGen Guillermo Eleazar reports all 2,211 PCSO outlets in Metro Manila now closed.
— Angel Movido (@angelmovido) July 28, 2019
Under the Philippine Constitution and penal laws, you can only be arrested for a crime that you personally committed. Also, the arresting officers need to have a warrant.
In this case, the crime those arrested were accused of having done was engaging in an “illegal” operation, because Duterte had the night before declared all lotto and other state-run gaming schemes “illegal”.
Duterte also served notice he would defy court orders.
Under the law, only the courts can declare lotto illegal but Duterte—through a simple Facebook video post—declared lotto “illegal” – this after 24 years of legal operation, along with stl and keno.
Duterte is imposing repressive rule better than Marcos. When Marcos imposed Martial Law in 1972, those who were arrested by the police and military were at least shown xeroxed copies of their warrants of arrest.
In this case, the police conducted warrantless arrests and closure of private commercial establishments on flimsy grounds—a Facebook video of a president ranting against massive corruption in the state-run gaming industry and issuing verbal orders.
On August 1, Duterte ordered “the suspension of lotto operations” lifted.
Suddenly, what he had declared “illegal” four days before, was suddenly legal once more. Why? He didn’t bother to explain. Neither did he issue a written order.
Duterte is really doing better than Marcos. Marcos had to issue a written order, signed by him, giving himself legislative and judicial powers. In Duterte’s case, all he had to do was tell his spokesman to quote Executive Secretary Salvador Medealdea as saying that the suspension of lotto had been ordered lifted by the President.
No explanation needed.
Ten days have passed and no one, who was involved in the “massive corruption” has been arrested or named.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office said the four-day stoppage had resulted in a quarter of a billion pesos worth of losses in lotto revenues.
That’s a lot of money lost and this is on top of the loss in revenues incurred by the private lotto outlets.
What I find shocking, though, is that the public accepted such blatant violations of the law and of rights MEEKLY.
Perhaps many of them shrugged and thought, it’s just gambling.
I believe it’s more than that. The first section of the Bill of rights states that “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law…”
I believe that what Duterte and his officials did unjustly deprived of liberty those who were arrested. Those whose lotto, stl and keno outlets were shut down were also unjustly deprived of the enjoyment of their property.
The lack of public outrage to the lotto closures leaves me with much dread.
Next time, Duterte can simply cite “massive corruption” and shut down Congress.
Did he not call the lawmakers corrupt to their faces during his recent State of the Nation address and did they not accept that meekly, even laughingly?
This recent closure of gaming outlets also shows the nation’s security forces so willing and fast to carry out Duterte’s orders.
And this is why I believe that what happened was a dry run for a planned crackdown.
On August 1, the same day that lotto operations resumed, Duterte hinted he was planning to do “something drastic”. In a speech during the 28th founding anniversary of the Bureau of Fire Protection, he told firemen:
You have to help in the maintenance of law and order. Do not limit yourself diyan sa ano. Kulang nga tayo ng tao eh. I will explain in the coming days. But I’m about to do something drastic. It will not sit well with everybody, maybe including you, but it is needed. Sinabi ko sa inyo, wala akong ambisyon mag-diktador. On the day na ayaw – — ayaw kong bumaba sa Malacañan, patayin ninyo ako. Shoot me dead kung — if I overstay in Malacañan. I do not need it. I am tired. I want to rest. I just want to complete what I agreed with the people as the term of my mandate. ‘Yun lang po.
Here is the official transcript of Duterte’s video ordering the closure of lotto outlets and declaring them illegal.
Sa mga kababayan ko, magandang gabi po sa inyong lahat.
I have today ordered the closure, the stoppage of all gaming schemes of whatever nature, however done, that got their franchises to do so from the PCSO.
The ground is massive corruption involving all — pati the courts who issued the — repeatedly issued injunctions to paralyze government and to allow corruption to thrive. Pending investigation, lahat ho ng laro ng Lotto, STL, Peryahan ng Bayan or whatever nature.
There’s one that — ‘yung gambling machine. [What’s the name?] Keno. I said all gaming activities, ‘yung gambling that got their franchise from government through PCSO are as of today suspended or terminated because of massive corruption.
Wala ako magawa. I have to do it. I will not honor transactions that are clearly on the side of, you know, scheming people, the Republic of the Philippines, of the money due it. Puro dayaan lahat at ‘yung mga kontrata ay parang — crafted in favor of corruption and to favor other corporations and people. I will not allow it.
As of today, I will not honor any — any order from any court stopping us or enjoining us to stop our desire to go into a massive investigation for the massive corruption that is existing in the PCSO.
Hinto lahat. That’s my order. Irrespective of the — ‘yung mga sinabi ko na na court order enjoining everybody to stop or not to do or what not to do, especially government.
Hindi ako papayag. And I said, I will not honor anything there. Everybody, everybody has to stop. I am ordering General Albayalde and the military to stop all these government — government-granted games which involves corruption. Lahat. Massive corruption.
So I repeat I’m ordering the military and the police to stop all gaming. Lotto, STL, Peryahan ng Bayan pati those machines that can be found everywhere which is actually gambling. If I — if I were… If I were to give my sentiment about gambling, mas gusto ko mawala ito lahat.
Kung meron man, I will maybe confer with the leaders of Congress muna. I am… The order is grounded on the preservation of the resources of the nation.
Additionally, the information is given to everybody that since — as of this moment, beginning now, the franchises, and licenses of whatever kind or nature granted by the PCSO, I said, to all gambling schemes, Lotto, Peryahan ng Bayan, STL, and those machines there that are found everywhere.
I will give them 24 hours to remove them from the public places. Tomorrow — beginning tomorrow, at sunrise everything, all transactions and gaming, waging — wager of bets becomes illegal. And I am, I said, ordering the PNP — the PNP Chief Albayalde to arrest anybody. And goes also for the military, si Madrigal, to arrest people engaged in gambling activities in connection with the franchises, licenses, concessions granted by the PCS
So it becomes illegal because as of today, all — all of those permits and concessions and whatever are terminated.
Talagang hiningi ninyo. Sinabi ko na nga walang corruption. Hinihingi talaga ninyo, ibigay ko sa inyo.
I have offered, we have offered — government have offered something to tie the people, allowing gambling and maybe it can help in the economic activity because money goes around.
But if you f*** government, that’s something else. Talagang kayo ang naghingi. Ibibigay ko sa inyo.
Thank you for listening.
Raissa, this is the best Tambayan for this link. Why you may ask what’s the relevance of CALIFORNIA PORT ?
Well, I read China is opening up or maybe had already bought coastal lands for its port operations of what not… trafficking and other legitimate and/ or illegal contraband.
There is , I hope, an end to everything, what if another admin comes along… so the country is going to buy back the lands we have lost ? Or just continue the unwanted operation or pay the never ending loan up to the children who are still to be born, …
In relation there is no prescriptive deadline for treason, if the next pres is up to a very tough leadership and governance. But who? TC.
Hinto lahat. That’s my order. Irrespective of the — . . . I am thinking. In dread too. FB video declaration. No formal written order under the law, etc.
And worst, PNP did follow declaration ASAP nationwide. Arrests made. Closures made on LOTTO. I dread again. But I cannot think further on it. Four days later, legal ang illegal. I further dread on this. It does not bother me anymore not to think on it. Meekly, it overtook me before reacting, like it was lightning speedo. What is happening to him? I dunno. Anybody?
Doctor, what’s your diagnosis? ‘Confidential’ – says doctor, but don’t be confident on it.
Did I laugh? Honestly, no. But I had to bite the hot slug. Is he planning to do something drastic? Or plastic? I dunno. But what could this drastic be? Would he FB announce Leni Rob rob Bong-Bong? One drastic-call yan. Mayroon pa ba? Oo, baka time for China Xping to swallow the slug? It’s appearing lately maybe.
What say you Doctor? ‘Same answer’ says doc. Doctor further says ‘Check FB. If you are arrested, don’t ask for xerox copy of warrant as it’s not there. Go to Internet FB.’ Not Twitter?
He’s thinking next about drastic. Me too what is next. ‘Me too!’ says Doctor.
doctor knows mukhang uling was manic at the time, sick in the mind. and when he’s manic, he’s high and can go stratospheric in a blink. he can talk nonstop rubbish, spend money like he owns world bank, travel overseas incessantly and not feel tired, his stamina in an all time high.
and when he’s low, he’s bed-bound and can barely get out of bed, missed attending ceremonies, anniversaries, and often late pa. may high and low, bipolar kasi, e.
kapolisan ought to know him by now, and not jump like skittish cats around him. next time he’s high, they should call doctor to calm him down. it’s not nice kung buong bayan ang nadadawit sa sakit niya.
Mac McCarty says
Yay! I finally got an email notification. The police state arrived long ago. You see it everywhere–an increasingly aggressively up-in-your-face attitude in “the authorities.” Even mall security…which makes it clear that big retailers are in on the deal. Powers granted (or successfully arrogated) are seldom surrendered & the belief that–through some magic–each person believes *they* will not (eventually–inevitably) bear the brunt is still in effect.
Comes as no surprise. Once the police are willing to commit murder on covert command, other nefarious deeds come easy. Is there still a “tama na; sobra na” point to be reached? I honestly don’t know. If there’s one thing Filipinos truly believe in, it’s punishment…even the Church assigns punishments as a matter of course. Filipino life seems to *require* the ability to go on taking punishment…because everybody’s guilty, right? Freedom isn’t so much a fact of daily life as I is something enjoyed at “recess” when “the boss” or whoever isn’t looking. The capacity to take punishment is huge! But is it infinite?
The extraordinary speed & organization of the shutdowns was appallingly suspicious, I agree. A Facebook post & state terrorism is mobilized nationwide? The future of the nation is becoming increasingly opaque to me.
Thanks for the feedback, Mac.
I finally figured out how to use Mail Chimp.
Took some time but I’m learning.
Mac McCarty says
Hooray! So glad & watching for more!
mac, your “Filipino life seems to *require* the ability to go on taking punishment . . .” maybe an over generalisation. we did not take kindly po to death penalty as punishment and hotly debated the issue. we’re also asking for divorce instead of till death do us part, with spouses killing spouses to gain freedom, sometimes killing children too just so they can be rid of family obligations. those that got tricked and pressured into marriage would also like to get out. similarly, we also objected to lowering the age of criminally in children.
punishment is something we dont really like and if we can escape it, we would! though many face punishment as men should and not shrink from it.
and nature can be cruel too and give punishment, earthquakes, super typhoons, drought and extreme weather. even our own bodies punish us, give us heart attacks, diabetes, cancer, etc.
I am very convinced Filipinos will not fight.They are mostly in or have already accepted their comfort zone.What comfort they got is very surprising and it’s like living in twilight zone.
The happiest race and nation I’ve known,(people) always smiling and happy is living to its expectation albeit in a misplaced dangerous situation. What do you call this phenomenon. Fatigue ? or just plain stupidity that they laid down their independence -life, liberty and pursuit of happiness to one man and his evildoer enablers. The response of the people in the situation in the country is beyond the normal characteristics and traits of the Filipino people that I’ve known years ago against the Marcosian rule.
I guess their ego, hopes and dreams, expectations are down that thinking about putting up a fight is more intolerable than accepting the status quo as long as its not them that’s being affected. But it would be too late when the whole country becomes in trouble.
Hours or days from now, Hongkong is collapsing; how about if Dutz immitate the Xi and put that drastic action into a Hongkong- like grip against the citizens?
My sympathy, but I hope yellows and dds would soon wake up that the spirit of chaos is almost blanketing your doorstep. Godspeed !
Pardon for posting this: But I see something like this in the country. Those are brave people asserting their God given rights. Not Dutz or Xi given rights.
EMMANUEL J. FLORESCA says
Thanks so much for the insight Raissa. It’s scary, but we have to be vey vigilant, and ready. This tyrant thinks he’s above the law. He has impliedly stated it many times. Pero lalaban ang Pilipino.
You think Filipinos will fight?
EMMANUEL J. FLORESCA says
History has shown that we fight, but there were lots of people as well who sold us out. I can only hope that bravery/courage has not left those who remain awake. I am so worried for my children and my apos-to-be.These times are terribly challenging.
if I maybe your child po, emamanuel j, I would brazen tell you to worry about yourself. I can take care of meself. do what you can, and I will do what I can. and to stop worrying unless you want more gray hairs!
para sa akin, the best gift old timers can give to the young is showing good example and fight a good fight. show the young ones how life is lived. dont worry overly much for the young, the future they want may not be the future you want. a bruised ego and maybe a few broken bones, the young may not appreciate your efforts, (will they ever!) but you’ll be happy and hopefully content you have done your part. and pls dont forget to leave enough money for your funeral, they’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness.
advice is wasted in the young, I’ve heard that somewhere.
sorry for being brazen. good day.
hurray! online uli ang blog ni raissa. for a time I cannot access her blog, panay may error sa connection. error, error, error!
so here uli ako, daing na naman ng daing! was the pcso closure a dry run for sinister something? who knows what’s in the mind of mukhang uli, lol! himself atras avante, the kapolisan atras avante, the taumbayan kamut ulo avante, lalong nakalbo tuloy is lorenzana, lore (loriket) must be loving all this, bet he’ll be accompanying duterte to china and having a good time traveling na naman.
okay, back to the closure, it being a dry run. never seen a kapolisan so quick to yes sir! albayalde must be sitting on live embers, ang bilis ng takbo! if only ganyan kabilis ang kapolisan to catch killers in negros, ayos!
if only ganyan din kabilis si duterte in solving water crisis, ayos! ganyan kabilis to sign end of endo, ayos! ganyan kabilis to solve bleeding philhealth, ayos!
if the closure was dry run, duterte was running up the wrong tree! does he knows how to use secateur and prunning saw? he may have to cut dead branches and some twigs, but cutting the whole tree and lot more whole trees just because there was dead branch! aba, no wonder his friend china had him strangle hold, lol! this is so just like him putting the whole of mindanaw under martial law just because he cannot catch a few terrorists. and penalized law abiding citizens there in mindanaw tuloy, they’re the ones must affected by martial law, the terrorists in the meantime are free to sow terror.
duterte has habit of exaggerating his cure that is worse than the disease, consulting with his best and brightest got him where exactly? best and brightest niya ay mayhap mga retirado na medyo not in step with reality na, been too long on the job, the mojito squeezed out of them, lol! chance again to make their mark, and they made it worst! chance again to shine, be respected by the rank and file, and so they rank of decay! and what kind of future will they leaving to their grandkids? I bet they’re saying to their grandkids, this is the future! enjoy!
Sorry, Arc and the rest of you guys.
I was sick for a while.
I’m ok now.
so glad to know you’re okay, raissa! may god bless you and your family, always. and be safe po.
I was at EDSA before. I will do it again.
kudos po sa inyo, rolly.