What’s President Rodrigo Duterte’s beef against casino Okada Manila?
Yesterday the president warned members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) not to hang out in casinos, specifically Okada.
Duterte delivered the stern warning during his speech at the inauguration of the Cavite Gateway Terminal in Tanza.
He was quoted by Rappler as saying in a mix of Filipino and English: “That Okada, f*ck that. I’d like to announce, all of you cops leave [that place]. It’s crawling with usurers, kidnappers.”
The president said casinos are magnets for unsavory characters and he couldn’t understand why policemen would hang out in those places. Maybe to catch those criminals?
“Those casinos are where you could find the lowlife (sic) of society. They will kidnap guests [by going inside] their rooms, then they start to negotiate, after they get paid they will leave the rooms and they might even kill the person. What are the policemen doing there? What’s your business there?” CNN Philippines quoted him saying.
According to ABS-CBN, the president was referring to loan sharks who reportedly kidnap casino gamblers who owe them money. In June, for example, a Pampanga-based syndicate kidnapped a Chinese national and tortured him when he couldn’t pay them back.
It’s unclear what prompted Duterte to go off on cops in casinos, but he sounded serious. He said police who violate him will be dismissed from service.
“If you violate my order, I will dismiss you from the service. That’s an order because you are there to commit a crime. If you have no business [there], you are not assigned there, [you’re not supposed to be there]. Or I will assign the Army to patrol. Which do you want? You kill each other or you obey me?” he said.
For its part, Okada issued a statement saying that the casino-hotel will support the government. It said: “Management will cooperate and coordinate with the proper authorities on this matter. The safety and welfare of our guests will always be our utmost priority.”
Located in Parañaque, Okada Manila has a casino, hotel, restaurants, and a luxe club called Cove.