Duterte to fire ecozone chief who gave 75-year gambling license outside freeport
President Rodrigo Duterte revealed that he would fire a head of a economic zone agency for abusing his authority to issue licenses. In a speech Sunday night, Duterte claimed the ecozone chief, which he did not name, issued a 75-year gambling license to operate outside the freeport’s jurisdiction.
” I have fired and will fire tomorrow some more people. Mayroon pa, mayroon pang isang head of an agency. When you are granted itong mga free port, free port and you begin to abuse by issuing so many franchises of gambling because it is in the franchise, correct. It is in the franchise but everything goes under regulation,” said Duterte in speech Sunday.
“It’s just right to operate within your territory but when you begin to issue gambling permits outside of your, mahirap ‘yung ganoon. I have to limit gambling. I do not like it. Ako ayaw ko talaga. As much as possible, we limit. I’m not trying to quarrel with anybody,” he added.
Duterte said he got wind of the abuses of the unnamed ecozone chief and immediately sought for his or her head.
“hen you begin to do that and you insist on something which is wrong, and you give lease contracts to foreigners for 75 years, putang-ina anong tingin mo, hindi ka ba gago? Ilan presidente dadaan yan? 75 years? You must be crazy,” he said.
“Humabol sa akin sa Cebu kanina. You go, both of you, you go. Wala akong… I don’t want to work with you,” he added.
In 2016 Duterte had previously ordered a cracdown on online gaminglicenses granted by ecozones, specifically Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (Ceza) and the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone Authority (Apeco), outside their jurisdiction.
But last July 2017, Philippine Economic Zone Authority Director General Charito B. Plaza said that they have relaxed their rules to allow gaming companies licensed by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., Ceza and Apeco to operate inside PEZA-accredited buildings.