The fiery President who hates gambling strikes again; warns he will have the military patrol Okada Manila
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s severe dislike of gambling has once again manifested itself.
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Okada Manila is one of three major hotel and casino properties currently operating in Entertainment City, known to be the Philippine equivalent of the legendary Las Vegas Strip.
President Duterte declared war on gambling the moment he assumed his role as his homeland’s highest ranking legislator in the summer of 2016. Online gambling became the first victim of his crackdown and he then focused his attention on land-based casinos.
President Duterte made his comments about Okada Manila during Thursday’s opening of Cavite Gateway Terminal, the Philippines’ first container barge port. The official said that he did not want to see a single member of the country’s police force or even a police car anywhere near Okada Manila, as the place was “crawling with usurers, kidnappers” and only attracted “the lowlife in society.”
This was not the first time when President Duterte has thrown criticism at the glitzy casino resort. In previous comments, the politician had said that there had been multiple incidents of guests of the resort being kidnapped from their rooms and then being murdered, even though a ransom had been paid for them.
“I will call the Rangers”
President Duterte further said that any member of the police force who is found to have disobeyed his orders would be dismissed as the only reason a policeman would be visiting Okada Manila, if they are not ordered to provide security, would be to commit a crime.
The President also noted that he might even call the Scout Rangers, if he loses patience, and order the elite unit to patrol the entire Dewey Boulevard, where Okada Manila is located.
The resort issued a statement Thursday night in response to President Duterte’s comments, saying that it “fully supports [his] call for vigilance against erring members of the police force” and that the property’s management would offer full cooperation with the competent authorities as the “safety and welfare” of their guests is their utmost priority.
Okada Manila opened doors in December 2016. Shortly after President Duterte was sworn into office in the summer of 2016, he was paid a courtesy visit by the resort’s then owner, Japanese businessman Kazuo Okada.
Courtesy Call of Mr. Kazuo Okada 7/18/2016: https://t.co/Bs1nCYhQ4A via @YouTube
— RTVMalacanang (@RTVMalacanang) July 18, 2016
Earlier this year, President Duterte announced that no more licenses for the construction of casinos around the country would be issued and that he wanted to stop the proliferation of gambling as it attracted crime. The official’s order came after two Chinese companies – Galaxy Entertainment Corp. and Landing International Development, expressed interest in building integrated resorts on Boracay and in the capital Manila, respectively. Landing even broke ground on its Manila project in August, but President Duterte said on the very same day that he would do what was necessary to prevent the $1.5-billion casino resort plan from being materialized.
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