Moro ex-rebels laud Duterte anti-online gambling drive

MILF calls for ban on gambling in Philippines saying few may win ‘at expense of losers and their families and society’

Moro ex-rebels laud Duterte anti-online gambling drive

World Bulletin / News Desk

 The Philippines’ one-time largest Moro rebel group expressed support Saturday for President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration on banning online gambling operations in the country.

Duterte, whose government is engaged in an ongoing peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), said Thursday, “I am ordering the closure of all online gaming. All of it. It has no use.”

While he gave no details or timeframe for such a ban, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II told reporters that Duterte had ordered him to review the operations of online gambling firms.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported him as saying that the presidential palace was drafting the order and that the closure of firms would depend on the findings of his investigation.

In an editorial published on its official website Saturday, the MILF said that gambling “in all its forms should not be allowed to proliferate” as “it does not give any benefit to the people in general”.

“One, two, or few may win but clearly at the expense of the losers and their families -- and society,” it underlined, expressing hope that the ban would cover Moro areas in the country’s Muslim south “because Islam strictly prohibits it [gambling] in all its forms”.

It described gambling as a source of many societal ills including destruction of families, hatred among players, permitting laziness and idleness, and resulting in crime, suicide and mental and chronic illnesses.

The editorial noted that there were similarities between many policies adopted by Duterte and those of the MILF.

“He and MILF are doing things rightly, such as banning smoking, war on drugs, and campaign against kidnapping, abhorrence of gambling, solving conflicts peacefully, strict distaste for corruption, and many more,” it said.

“As a revolutionary organization, the MILF strives to improve or even alter the prevailing system which is exploitative, oppressive, and feudal. It is a tall order and is protracted but it gives moving on and on.”

On Friday, the government-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) said Duterte’s order would only cover unlicensed online gaming companies.

The Philippine Star quoted Pagcor chair Andrea Domingo as saying that the presidential palace would issue an executive order on the matter.

Since Duterte won the May 9 election on a campaign against crime and corruption, his administration has been holding peace talks with the MILF on the establishment of a new autonomous region in majority Muslim areas of southern Mindanao -- from where Duterte hails.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Aralık 2016, 12:49