By Jhon Aldrin Casinas

Over 500 lottery and other gaming outlets authorized by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) were closed down by the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) on Saturday noon.

270719 QCPD LOTTO CLOSURE ESPIRITU 7 copy - NCRPO moves to close down over 500 gaming outlets

The Quezon City Police District (QCPD), led by Regional Director NCRPO PMGen. Guillermo Eleazar, post “closed” signage on a lotto outlet on in Quezon City, Saturday, July 27, 2019, in compliance with the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to close all Lotto outlets, Small Town Lottery (STL), Keno, and Peryahang Bayan. (Kevin Tristan Espiritu / MANILA BULLETIN)

NCRPO chief Major General Guillermo told reporters that as of 12 p.m., at least 523 gaming outlets were shut down by five police districts in the metropolis.

“Most of them are lotto outlets,” Eleazar said.

The Metro Manila top cop said most of the outlets were already closed when the cops arrived.

Eleazar disclosed that four bet collectors and an outlet supervisor were arrested in Quezon City on Saturday morning where at least 185 gaming outlets were shut down on Saturday noon.

He furthered that the arrested suspects were taking lottery bets when the police officers nabbed them.

“They will be referred before the City Prosecutors’ Office for violation of illegal gambling,” he said.

The suspects, Eleazar said, are now under the custody of the Regional Special Operations Unit.

Eleazar said this was based on the directive of President Duterte, which was relayed to them by Philippine National Police chief General Oscar Albayalde early Saturday morning.

The directive, he said, was to close down all gaming activities of PCSO within 24 hours. This included STL, lotto, Keno and other related gaming schemes which franchise and license to operate was granted by the PCSO.

President Duterte on Friday night ordered for the shutdown of all PCSO gaming outlets due to alleged corruption in the agency.

READ MORE: Duterte: Lotto, STL now illegal over corruption

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