MALACAÑANG cautioned Saturday the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against using the administration's war against illegal gambling to extort money.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the PNP and the NBI should always consider that they have to "build the nation and not to build our own pockets" in intensifying its campaign against illegal gambling.

"We continue to remind those who are in the PNP and all those related law-enforcing agencies to please be careful. Let us not forget that our main purpose is really to build the nation and not to build our own pockets, our own wealth," Abella told state-run dzRB.

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed Executive Order 13, instructing the PNP, the NBI and other law enforcement agencies to "coordinate and promptly act on request of gambling regulatory authorities to investigate and put a stop to illegal activities in their jurisdictions."

The executive order was released after the President ordered the PNP and the NBI to postpone its anti-illegal drug operations, following the abduction-slay of Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo by policemen in the guise of the war on drugs.

Jee was taken from his home by members of PNP Anti-illegal Drugs Group in October 2016 and was killed the same time he was kidnapped at the Camp Crame in Quezon City.

Abella echoed Duterte's statement that they should stop taking advantage on the administration’s drug war.

“[Duterte] said, ‘Do not aspire for things that you cannot afford.’ So that’s it… That (Suspension of anti-illegal drug operations within their agencies) should serve as lesson to them,” Abella said. (SunStar Philippines)