MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives (HoR) today started its investigation on the reported lavish Christmas party of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
In the hearing, PCSO Board Member, Sandra Cam, said that the board asked for a 10 million peso budget for the Christmas party that was held in an expensive hotel despite the fact that many of poor Filipinos have been patiently waiting in line every day at the PCSO asking for financial help.
PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan, however, maintains that there was no anomaly in the spendings made for the said event, claiming that the request was approved by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). — UNTV News & Rescue
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)
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) said it will review all of its gaming procedures such as small-town lottery (STL) keno and Peryahan ng Bayan after President Rodrigo Duterte lifted the suspension of lotto operations.
PCSO General Manager Royina Garma said there could have been problems with their collection system that’s why remittances were delayed.
But when asked about the personalities who might be involved in irregularities and corruption inside the agency, Garma refused to answer.
“Ang mga taong perhaps involved noon, saka na lang po iyan, (As for the people involved, we’ll leave it for now),” she said.
“Hahayaan ko na lang po ‘yung mga (I will just let) investigators to do their job. It’s not mine anymore,” Garma said.
The gaming agency reported loss in revenue of up to P250-M following shutdown in lotto operations on Saturday (July 27).
Garma said they have proven from investigations that their lotto operations are free of irregularities, the reason why President Duterte decided to lift his suspension order.
“Kaya po namin ni-request ‘yung lotto kasi nakitaan namin na wala nang dapat baguhin. Kasi malinis siya, Okay siya, (The reason why we requested the resumption of lotto is because we’re confident that there’s nothing irregular going on with it. It is okay),” Garma concluded. – (MNPwith details from Harlene Delgado)
MANILA, Philippines – Recoboda Party-list Rep. Godofredo Guya on Thursday (August 1) asked officials of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to file a voluntary leave of absence while the investigation on the alleged corruption within the agency rolls on.
“We should ask them that they should voluntary…mag-leave muna sila (to take a leave for now),” Guya said.
“Kung ayaw nilang umalis, nakakahiya sa taumbayan, (If they refuse to leave, it would be unethical),” he added.
Guya’s call was to ensure that those involved wouldn’t have the chance to influence the result of the investigation.
The lawmaker also supports the publication of the names involved in the controversy.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives (HOR) wants an immediate start of the probe.
The House Committee on Games and Amusement is planning to call the former and the current officials of the state-run gaming service to hear their explanation on the matter.
“Magkakaroon po kami ng pagpupulong para nga talaga bilisan agad ang pagpapatawag ng congressional inquiry para magkaroon ng imbestigasyon ang kongreso sa massive corruption sa PCSO, (We will set up a meeting to discuss how to expedite the congressional inquiry on the massive corruption in PCSO),” said Committee member ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Niña Taduran.
So far, the Lower House has received two resolutions seeking an investigation on the alleged irregularities inside the PCSO.
The PCSO, for its part, assured to cooperate with the probe. – (MNP with details from Grace Casin)
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