President Rodrigo Duterte has made it clear he will never allow “jueteng” to flourish in the country, and clarified he did not order police to stop their crackdown on the illegal numbers racket, the Inquirer reports.
On Monday, the President said he wanted to correct “one senator” who was of the belief that he wanted the police to “go easy” on jueteng operators.
“I didn’t say that I’ll allow jueteng,” said Duterte. “I only said I will look for ways to handle this because the lotto has not been useful. It was supposed to win over jueteng.”
Last week, Duterte expressed concerns that the illegal drug trade might become more rampant if jueteng was totally eradicated as it would allow drug traders to make use of jueteng extensive network.
This was taken as a suggestion that the government should go easy on jueteng until a viable “replacement” was found for the illegal numbers game.
Boracay not open to big business
Duterte on Wednesday reiterated that he will not allow gambling to take root on Boracay island, which was closed to tourism due to environmental degradation.
He also clarified that he does not have any financial interest in the rehabilitation of the island amid allegations that business owners would benefit after the six-month cleanup.
“We don’t have any interest there… They weave a lot of tales about giving it to big business. I will not allow gambling. I will not even give it to big business,” Duterte said during a speech during the anniversary celebration of the Environment department, according to Philstar.
Duterte vowed to return the island to “its rightful owner” after the cleanup.
“Let us determine first who owns the place. If there is any title, and if it gets to be muddy to really dwell into it and question everything, well, I leave it to the local governments to decide or to the congressman,” the president said.