Duterte honors Boracay locals’ wish for no casinos

PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte said that casinos will not be built within the premises of the world-famous Boracay island to honor the wishes of the locals and residents of the said tourist spot.

“If it is the wish of the population here that they do not want a casino, then it will be a no casino,” Duterte said as reported by The Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The president expressed his disapproval of establishing a casino when Galaxy Macau’s Galaxy entertainment Group planned on building one on the said island. The said entertainment group’s local partner, AB Leisure exponent Inc., announced its plan to build a $500-million integrated casino resort. However, Duterte said Filipinos would not gain anything from a casino in Boracay.

“Marami diyan (irregularities), policemen who are in the business of fixing things, money lenders, and people who really kidnapped foreigner, as a reason why it’s almost, pag pinasok mo, Philippine contemporary scene, the hotel with the casino is not good because there are a lot of things will happen,” Duterte said.

The president also noted how gambling sites such as casinos tend to be “dysfunctional.” He further explained that a lot of unwanted irregularities are bound to happen in such establishments ranging from illegal drugs proliferation to kidnapping and other crimes.

“It becomes dysfunctional actually. Kidnappings, drugs and everything. And it is a place where most of the gangster around or thereabout or just stay there and commit crimes of [this] sort,” the president noted.

Despite his refusal to permit the building of casinos, Duterte said that he believes an executive order (EO) is not necessary to urge companies to stop building casinos in Boracay. This is in contrast with the statement from Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra who stated that an EO is a must in order to fully enforce the casino ban that was earlier ordered by the President himself.

“I’ll just say that huwag na lang (there is no need). Anyway, it’s a privilege whether I put it in writing or just say it verbally. It is not a requirement that I should really be writing something,” he said.

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