New Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte Wastes No Time Attacking Online Gambling

Posted on: July 3, 2016, 02:28h. 

Last updated on: July 3, 2016, 02:28h.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte online gambling
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte went after online gambling during his first full day in office, as the outspoken leader added Internet casinos to his list of items to curb. (Image: AFP Photo/

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte was sworn into the country’s highest office on June 30, and the unconventional politician wasted no time in setting the tone for his administration.

On his first official day in office, the 71-year-old delivered a calculated speech inside the Malacañang Palace before visiting a slum in Manila where he quickly switched gears. Standing in front of 500 people, Duterte used profanities in addressing the crime and drugs running rampant throughout the Southeast Asian country.

“If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself,” Duterte said. “These sons of whores are destroying our children.”

Later during his first cabinet meeting, the newly inaugurated president went after online gambling. According to various sources present in the room, Duterte advised his cabinet members to crackdown on Internet casinos and e-bingo.

“For now, we will freeze the issuance of licenses for these types of games, then review what the president said,” Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) Chairwoman Andrea Domingo told a local radio station. The Associated Press reported the quote.

Add It to the List

Duterte is one of the most controversial politicians in modern history. He’s anticlerical, even though over 80 percent of the Filipino population practices Catholicism, and has confessed that he’s a “womanizer.”

When it comes to what’s right and what’s wrong, Duterte takes a hand stance in making sure all follow his lead.

During his mayorship of Davao City, Duterte made it his personal mission to go after both drug traffickers and those addicted to using drugs. Reducing crime was another key component of Duterte’s platform, as was trying to slow gambling expansion.

For his presidency, he’s adding online gambling to his hit list.

“It’s not good to be gambling all the time,” Duterte said this week. “And there is no way of collecting taxes there online.”

Gambling greatly increased during Benigno Aquino III’s presidency.

According to government statistics, there were 2,160 e-bingo machines in the country when Aquino took office, and more than 12,000 when he left. Internet gaming cafes also grew by 87 physical locations.

Six-Year Itch

The Filipino population is stuck with Duterte for the next six years.

The Philippines presidency is for one six-year term. Once the term is up, the president cannot seek reelection.

There are obvious advantages and disadvantages to one-term presidencies.

Without the threat of losing one’s job, presidents may be more inclined to act on issues they believe to be vital regardless of public opinion. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is for the voters to decide.

When it comes to Duterte, the odds heavily favor a no-holds-barred approach. No president in the Philippines has ever been impeached, meaning Duterte has nearly free reign until 2022.

Duterte is a proud Filipino who has said in the past that he doesn’t care if he goes to hell so long as it’s to better his people.

His country was recently embarrassed after it was revealed that two casinos in Manila were used to launder money in the Bangladesh bank heist earlier this year. PAGCOR is currently in the process of recuperating the funds.