President Rodrigo Duterte confirmed the casino ban and said there’s no need for him to sign an executive order to enforce it.
Philippines.- The Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte, recently announced a complete prohibition of the casino industry in the island of Boracay. Despite the recommendation from the Department of Justice that he should sign an executive order (EO) in order to enforce the ban, he rejected the need for any further documents and minimised the DoJ’s opinion.
“I’ll just say huwag na lang (nevermind). Anyway, it’s a privilege, whether I put it in writing or say it verbally,” President Duterte told reporters in an interview. He reassured his stance on casino developments in the island and said they spawn crime. “If I were the owner of the hotel, I should not be speculating as to what will happen to me if I defy the government,” he added.
“The President may, by an EO, direct the PAGCOR (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.) to prohibit the grant of licenses to casinos in Boracay and cancel existing license already granted… An EO is proper to direct PAGCOR to hold the grant of licences to casinos in Boracay and to revoke existing licenses,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra had said in a legal opinion issued recently.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo confirmed the possibility of President Duterte issuing an EO in the future, and said: “The policy of the President is there should be no gambling casino inside Boracay because he feels that this is a family thing. Families go there, and he doesn’t want that there will be gambling inside Boracay.” However, it seems that President Duterte isn’t very fond of the idea of issuing an EO.