PHILIPPINE National Police chief General Oscar D. Albayalde yesterday ordered a full-blast investigation of active police officials involved in Small-Town Lottery (STL) used as jueteng front.
“I have directed the PNP Directorate for Intelligence to gather more information on officers involved in the propagation of STL even before the time of PNP chief, now Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa,” the country’s top cop told a press briefing at Camp Crame yesterday.
The official said that there is really no problem when retired police and military generals have acquired legitimate STL franchises after complying with all government requirements.
However, he explained that it is highly-unethical for active police officers and men to be acquiring STL franchises or fully supporting them if they are being used as a cover for illegal jueteng operations.
“There’s conflict of interest already in that case if you’re in the active service. Hindi ka nasa tamang landas nun pag ganun ang ginagawa mo,” he said.
Gen. Albayalde did not name names but said “we have information that no less than a senior officer was going around to promote STL before, way back in 2017.”
“As I’ve said, hindi ka puwedeng makipagusap doon, questionable na yun dahil me allegations nga na shady ang ilang STL operations dahil ginagamit na front sa jueteng,” he said. The PNP chief told the media to wait for the result of the PNP-DI investigation which he vowed to make public.
During the recent 118th Police Service Anniversary, President Duterte said that retired and incumbent officers of the PNP and the Armed Forces should be free to own STL franchises for as long as they are corruption-free.
The Chief Executive made the statement to address the issue of retired generals’ alleged involvement in corrupt STL practices as earlier revealed by former PNP chief-turned Senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ M. Lacson.
“Let me say this to you now. There are allegations that police generals retired are into the STL, lotto, and whatnot. I said you do not have any problem with me,” Duterte said. “If it’s a bidding, you participate, as long as it is not rigged in your favor and you secure it, complying with the laws, no corruption, I will not begrudge you,” he added. “If it’s clean, you don’t deprive government of money due to the country and the people, okay sa akin ‘yun (that’s okay with me),” he emphasized.
The Commander-in-Chief however advised police and military officials to ask to be assigned to a place where they do not have gambling or other business operations, for the sake of “honor, delicadeza.”