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No sacred cows in anti-gambling drive

There will be no sacred cows in the government’s intensified drive against illegal gambling operations in the country, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella made the remarks after authorities reportedly conducted raids in gambling dens supposedly owned by businessman Charlie “Atong” Ang in Northern Luzon.

“Under the Duterte administration, there are no sacred cows,” Abella said in a Palace press conference.

He maintained that law enforcement agencies would continue to implement the country’s laws against illegal gambling without fear or favor. “It will be under the proper authorities to make sure that Mr. Ang will comply,” he said.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II earlier said Ang may be investigated for criminal liabilities, including for possible tax evasion, following the alleged involvement in illegal gambling operations. Aguirre said he would ask the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to probe the tax liabilities of Ang and his companies.

President Duterte earlier signed Executive Order No. 13 strengthening the fight against illegal gambling. The EO defined illegal gambling as any game schemes not authorized or licensed by the government.

Law enforcement agencies have been “directed to coordinate and promptly act on requests of gambling regulatory authorities to investigate and put a stop to illegal gambling activities in their respective jurisdictions.”
(Genalyn Kabiling)