MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine president has ordered the indefinite closure of popular lotteries run by the government’s sweepstakes agency due to alleged massive corruption and says even courts can’t stop his order.
President Rodrigo Duterte issued the order late Friday to the national police and the military to immediately close all lottery and gaming outlets of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, or PCSO. Duterte did not elaborate on the alleged corruption and said an investigation would follow.
The PCSO says it will comply with the order but will appeal to Duterte to resume the widely popular lotteries, which generate huge revenues that are mostly used for charity and public health programs.
Police on Saturday closed hundreds of lottery outlets, which generate long lines of people when the jackpot rises to staggering levels.