In Tuguegarao, Philippines, two cops are facing legal trouble after they were allegedly caught drinking and gambling in Sta. Ana, this past weekend.
Col. Ignacio Cumigad told reporters that Sgt. Fidel Aquio Jr. was caught at a cockfight arena in Barangay and that Cpl. Melvic Cris de Castro was caught abandoning his post when he was found drinking at home.
Cockfighting is legal in the Philippines, but cops and other government officials are not allowed to gamble on the fights or enter the local casinos. This ban was imposed upon the officers and all government workers by the order of the President. In the Philippines, cockfighting is a billion-dollar industry, and cockpits can be found all around the islands.
Police officers in the Philippines are allowed to drink, just not in public places. Earlier this year, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to issue an administrative circular to ensure that PNP offices conduct themselves professionally in public. The administrative bulletin permanently banned PNP officers from drinking in bars, nightclubs, or any public place. President Duterte has mentioned that people lose their respect for police officers when they see drunken police officers in public.
Casino gambling is big business in the Philippines, but police and other government officials are not allowed into their premises even when not on duty. This directive came from President Duterte in January of 2018.
Philippine residents, however, can gamble and drink as much as they want, given that they do not break any laws. There are no restrictions placed upon Filipinos banning them from the local casinos or from playing online casinos, sportsbooks, or poker rooms. Philippine gambling laws are directed towards the domestic operators and not the players.
Since the Presidents meeting with Xi Jinping last month where the Chinese President asked Duterte to stop online gambling sites originating from the Philippines, the President has vowed to crackdown on POGO operators, but told the Chinese leader in so many words, that the industry is too valuable to the Philippines to stop.
For now, it seems as if city officials and online operators have to watch their actions closely as the crackdown is in full effect. Over the last month, there have been numerous raids and arrests made.