By Joseph Almer Pedrajas

Hundreds of lotto and small town lottery (STL) outlets in Caloocan, Malabon and Navotas cities were shut down by police following President Duterte’s order.

IMG 6374 - Police shut down lotto, STL outlets in northern metro

Police put a “business closed” signage at a local lotto outlet in Malabon on Saturday, July 27, 2019. (Joseph Almer Pedrajas / MANILA BULLETIN)

Based on reports from police stations of the three cities, 222 lotto and STL outlets have already been closed by 3 p.m.

A total of 72 lotto and 11 small town lottery outlets in Caloocan were shut down, 111 in Malabon and 28 in Navotas.

President Duterte on Friday ordered the closure of lotto and other PCSO-licensed games, and declared them illegal due to reports of massive alleged corruption in the agency.

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

“The operation was peaceful. Lotto outlet owners were all cooperative, because perhaps, they were already informed,” PSMS Rio Norcio, Malabon Police Community Precinct-3 officer-in-charge, told Manila Bulletin.

However, Cristina Cabigao, wife of a lotto outlet owner, said that she was surprised when police officers went to her lotto outlet and attached a “Business Closed” signage.

“It’s better if we were advised ahead of time,” she said, adding that they were not informed about the operation.

Cabigao added that the lotto outlet they were operating used to complement their source of income. They are also managing a loading business, among others.

“That’s one of our sources of income while my husband, who is a seaman, is not onboard,” she said. “Though it’s not really giving us good income.”

Kurt Alfaro, whose mother’s STL was among those that were shut down, said that he favors the President’s order to close all lotto and other gaming and gambling outlets.

“It’s okay. So that people don’t have to waste their money,” he said.

Alfaro, however, admitted that their STL had been a help to their neighbors who were winning the lottery.

People who bet P5 could win as much as P1,000, while those who bet P10 could win as much as P2,000, Alfaro added.

“They used their winnings to provide for their daily needs,” he said.

READ MORE: PNP immediately complies with PRRD order, shuts down lotto, other PCSO outlets nationwide

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