August 23, 2019
President Rodrigo Duterte's go-signal to resume the operation of small town lottery did not mean there is no corruption in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office ( PCSO)-sanctioned gambling.
In an interview on Friday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that investigation on the alleged corruption in the STL operations continue.
"I think the investigation has not been concluded yet with respect to that. I haven't yet heard that there was already a final report," he said.
Asked if Duterte's order to lift the suspension means there was no corruption, Panelo said, "No, it doesn't mean that."
Panelo could not say what triggered Duterte to order the lifting of the suspension on the operations of STL even if there was no result in the probe.
"I will have to ask the President regarding that. But what is important is – to me, from my point of view, the conditions are very onerous on the part of the STL. And there is … it will be already be difficult for them to have an excuse not to remit or to swindle the government with respect to their shares to be remitted to the government," he said.
Following the recommendation of the PCSO, Duterte approved the operations again of STL after suspending it and other PCSO games, such as lotto due to alleged corruption last July.
But days later, the President lifted the suspension order against lotto operations after being cleared from any irregularity.
In STL, its agents could only resume their operations if they would follow the requirements, including the placement of cash bond equivalent to three months of the PCSO’s share in the guaranteed monthly retail receipts on top of their existing cash bonds. Celerina Monte/DMS
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