Duterte orders closure of lotto; declares all PCSO gaming activities illegal
UNTV News • July 27, 2019 • 4539
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte in a televised message on Friday (July 26) ordered closure of all gaming and gambling activities that obtained franchise from government through the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
“I have today ordered the closure, the stoppage of all gaming schemes of whatever nature, however done, that got their franchises to do so from the PCSO. The ground is massive corruption involving all,” Duterte said.
The President said he will not honor any court order to stop his order.
“As of today I will not honor any any order from any court stopping us or enjoining us to stop our desire to go into a massive investigation for the massive corruption that is existing in the PCSO,” the President said.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panel confirmed the directive saying the President was ‘outraged’ to discover a seemingly “grand conspiracy among the major players and enforcers of these government- sanctioned gaming activities and enterprises to cheat the government of its rightful shares, depriving therefore the masses of our people of receiving basic services needed by them.”
The directive covers all lotto outlets, small time lottery (STL), Peryahan ng Bayan, keno and other forms of gambling schemes.
Specifically, all licences, concessionaires, and franchises issued by the PCSO are all recalled, cancelled and withdrawn.
The President ordered the military and police to enforce his directive effective immediately and without exception and those who will persist will be arrested.
Owners and operators of all PCSO gambling schemes were given a 24-hour deadline to remove their businesses from public places.
Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board member Sandra Cam believes that corruption in the Small Town Lottery (STL) in the country has not stopped despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to lift the suspension of its operation under certain conditions.
“It’s just like a legalized jueteng,” Cam said.
This prompted the official to recommend the transfer of the operation of STL to the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor).
She added that it is still safe to just have the lotto operation remain under the PCSO to help rid the agency of corruption.
“Ibigay na lang sa PAGCOR because gambling naman talaga ang PAGCOR and STL is a gambling [Give the STL to Pagcor because it is really gambling],” Cam added.
Cam also said that she is ready to name the high-ranking officials who are also members of the PCSO board of directors who are involved in corruption in the agency on Tuesday’s scheduled Congressional hearing.
Cam insists that some former officials of the PCSO were also involved in the corruption in the STL operation.
She added that several generals were given permits to operate STL even if they did not pay cash bonds to PCSO.
“I’m not against the military. I’m not against the PNP. I have a lot of friends there. But I don’t like the way the mistahs of General Corpuz and General Balutan na parang ginawa nila, ang PCSO is a private company [who seemed to have made PCSO a private company],” Cam said.
Meanwhile, Cam said that she is also ready to undergo the lifestyle check that the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) will conduct to all PCSO board members brought about by the corruption allegations.
“Ang masasabi ko doon sa mga critics ko [All I can say to my critics is] that I have a 500 million (worth) resort, you can go — I will invite you for free. You check out my place, it’s just a kubo [nipa hut]. Ang aming mga houses doon, cottages are made of kubo [Our houses, cottages there are made of nipa hut],” she added.
Cam further said that she is willing to resign if the corruption issues inside the PCSO will not be resolved within three to four months. (from the report of Harlene Delgado) /mbmf
The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday (August 12) announced that it is continuously monitoring the proliferation of illegal numbers games in the country.
PNP Spokesperson BGen. Bernard Banac said they had arrested several personalities that are still operating STL, such as jueteng, in Laguna and in Metro Manila despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to stop such operation.
“May ilan na nahuling STL bettors ang Laguna PPO at NCRPO kamakailan, kahit sarado na ang operations ng STL. [The Laguna PPO and the NCRPOhad recently arrested several STL bettors, even though STL operations had been stopped],” Banac said.
The PNP is appealing to the public to report to the authorities in case they hear of Jueteng draws still being done in their respective communities. (with details from Lea Ylagan) /mbmf
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to identify less than 10 officials allegedly involved in the “massive corruption” in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), a Malacañang official said on Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President mentioned this during a speech at the joint anniversary celebration of the National Security Council and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency on Wednesday night.
However, Panelo said the chief executive did not elaborate on the issue, adding that the public should just wait for further announcements.
This comes after Duterte ordered the immediate suspension of all PCSO gaming operations over the supposed corruption in the agency. More than 30,000 gaming outlets were shut down over the weekend following his order.
On Tuesday, the president lifted the halt of lotto operations but suspension on small-town lottery (STL), Keno and Peryahan ng Bayan operations remain until the investigation has been concluded.
Presidential Anti-Corruption Commissioner Greco Belgica, meanwhile, said investigation is underway on PCSO officials linked to corruption including the agency’s former general manager Alexander Balutan.
Belgica added that PCSO officials will also be subjected to lifestyle checks.
“No one (is) exempted, no one will be spared from the top down,” he said. (with details from Rosalie Coz)
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