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Editorial | Curbing illegal gambling

Last week, President Rodrigo R. Duterte lifted the ban on the operations of lotto a week after its imposition. The President banned the operations of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office-sanctioned numbers games on the grounds that the agency was involved in corruption.

As a result of the ban, the Department of Justice also ordered its unit, the National Bureau of Investigation to dig deeper and ensure that those who will be found responsible would face the consequences.

But more than the corruption allegations, the bigger and broader issue in relation to the operations of numbers games in the country is illegal gambling.

Illegal gambling activities, not only those based on legal numbers games, have been happening and that there have been allegations that those behind these activities were in collusion with law enforcers, enjoying protection from raids and arrests.

So, aside from those corruption allegations, probers must also look into the existence of the illegal gambling activities and that law enforcers must ensure that these operations will be curbed, if not totally put to stop.

In the past, campaigns against illegal gambling activities were only good at the start as authorities could not sustain, or did not want to sustain, for reasons they alone knew.

The sustainability of the campaign would define whether the ban of the President was effective in not only fighting corruption but also in curbing illegal gambling activities. This will also serve as among the defining moments of the law enforcers, or the campaign will just get back to square one.

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