PNP chief: Duterte orders Lam arrested for bribery, economic sabotage
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the arrest of business tycoon Jack Lam, Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa. chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Saturday.
“Ako ay nanawagan sa lahat ng ating mga tagapakinig na kung sana sila ay may alam kung nasaan ngayon si Jack Lam o kaya makita nila si Jack Lam na operator ng online gaming d’yan sa Fontana, Clark. Ito po ay isang Chinese national ipagbigay alam lang po sa ating pinakamalapit na police station,” De la Rosa said in an interview over radio dzMM.
(I am appealing to the listeners who may have knowledge on the whereabouts of Jack Lam or may have seen him. He is an operator of online gaming at the Fontana Leisure Park in Clark. He is a Chinese national. Please let your nearest police station where he is.)
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguire II earlier said Lam, through an aide, attempted to bribe him in a meeting at the Shangri-La Hotel in The Fort in Taguig. This was after the arrest of 1,316 Chinese nationals illegally working at Lam’s unlicensed online gaming business at Fontana Leisure Park and Casino at Clark Freeport in Pampanga province.
Lam’s lawyer Raymond Fortun, however, denied the accusation on Friday, maintaining that there was nothing illegal about his businesses.
“Mr. Lam had no reason to bribe anyone as his operations are legitimate,” Fortun said.
Aside from those at Fontana, Lam also operates the Fort Ilocandia casino in Ilocos Norte.
Dela Rosa said Duterte ordered the arrest of Lam on charges of bribery and economic sabotage.
The PNP chief said the President also ordered the closure of Lam’s casinos in the country.
He said Duterte was “very angry” at Lam.
“Galit na galit at gusto n’yang mahuli kaagad. Kailangan mahuli agad (He is very mad and he wants Lam arrested immediately. He needs to be arrested immediately),” he said.
Dela Rosa also called on the police for the immediate arrest of Lam.
“I am giving orders to all my PNP units to arrest him immediately as ordered by the President for the case of bribery and economic sabotage,” he said.
He assured that Lam would not be able to escape from the country. He added the Department of Justice had started preparing the charges against Lam.
Asked if the police might be charged of illegal arrest, De la Rosa said: “Hanapan natin ng paraan ‘yan basta orders ni Presidente na hulihin (We will look for ways because it’s the President’s order to go after him).”
“Kami na bahala na managot kung ma-illegal arrest kami basta meron kaming batayan (Leave it to us to take responsibility if we would be charged of illegal arrest, but we have a basis).” IDL
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