On 25th January, a policewoman from Cebu City and a municipal councilor of Cordova were spotted gambling inside a hotel casino in Cebu City. Both government workers violated the Presidential Decree 1869 that enforces a ban on government officials setting foot in casinos. The two offenders were arrested by the police. According to the latest news, the municipal councilor of Cordova was released after the Office of the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor dismissed the charges against the official.
Two government officials are under fire after being caught gambling in casinos late Thursday and early Friday last week. The 30-year-old police officer Cyrelle Marie Bayate and Cordova Municipal Councilor Lemuel Pogoy were arrested for gambling in casinos in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for the strict implementation of a law prohibiting all government workers from gambling or entering casinos.
Following the arrests, the Cebu City Intelligence Branch (CIB) chief, Chief Insp. Cristopher Navida commented that Bayate was placed under surveillance after a citizen alarmed the officials of the policewoman’s misdeeds. Navida added the arrest of the policewoman is to “serve as a wake-up call to other police officers who are patronizing casinos”. Ms. Bayate will face administrative and criminal charges. In an interview, she said that she realizes her mistake and she regrets it as it cost her the job.
Jail Threatens Government Employees Patronizing Casinos
On 26th January, Assistant City Prosecutor Sheilamar Saliganan-Abadia dismissed the compliant against the town councilor, explaining that there are no grounds to hold Mr. Pogoy liable for for open disobedience. According to the resolution, Mr. Pogoy is neither a judicial nor an executive officer, but a municipal councilor. This means that he cannot be charged with open disobedience.
However, Abadia explained that Pogoy can still be held administratively responsible for his deeds before signing the release order. Last year, the Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson appeared in the spotlight after being spotted performing at Bar 360 of Resorts World Manila.
Earlier this month, during the launch of the Overseas Filipino Bank (OFBank), the country’s top official made his directive to Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa to arrest government officials caught inside casinos. In 2016, Duterte ordered Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) to strictly implement Presidential Decree No. 1067-B, which was issued by the late Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos in 1983.
Last Wednesday, Philippine National Police Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa unveiled an anti-gambling sign at the Solaire Resort and Casino in Parañaque City. The move came as part of the national campaign to prevent government employees and officials from entering casinos. The sign serves as a reminder for all government employees.