By Martin Sadongdong
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana vowed Tuesday that he will look into reports that some Scout Rangers from the Philippine Army were allegedly used to protect illegal gambling lords, some of whom were said to be former ranking military and police officials.
“I will look into that report,” Lorenzana said when asked about the matter at the sidelines of the 2019 Disaster Risk Resilience Summit in Quezon City.
According to published reports, some elite Army troops and Special Action Force from the Philippine National Police (PNP) were used as bodyguards by retired military and police generals, who were able to acquire small town lotto franchises that were eventually used as fronts for jueteng.
However, Lorenzana could not immediately verify the validity of the report.
“I have no knowledge on that. I’m sorry I cannot answer that,” he said.
But while the Defense Chief was unaware of the report, he said that it would be totally unacceptable and “improper” should the allegations turn out to be true.
The issue surfaced days after President Duterte ordered the shutting down of all lotto outlets and betting stalls for small-town lottery (STL) and other forms of gambling licensed by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) due to “massive corruption.”