President Rodrigo Duterte ended the suspension of lotto operations under the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) several days after the chief executive revealed the alleged corruption of the said agency.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed that the President allowed the lotto to open again nationwide, however, Small Town Lottery (STL), Keno and Peryahan ng Bayan (PNB) are still remained barred from operating.
“The rest of all gaming operations with franchises, licenses or permits granted by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), such as Small-Town Lottery (STL), Keno and Peryahan ng Bayan (PNB), shall remain suspended pending the investigation of illegal activities and corrupt practices related thereto until the Office of the President evaluates the results of said probe,” Panelo said.
“Franchise holders and operators of Lotto outlets may now resume with their operations. The lifting of the suspension of Lotto operations takes effect immediately,” Panelo added.
According to the Palace, the lifting of suspension “takes effect immediately.”
On Friday, President Duterte ordered PCSO to close down all its gaming franchises, citing rampant corruption in the agency.
“Talagang hiningi ninyo. Sinabi ko na nga walang corruption. Hinihingi talaga ninyo, ibigay ko sa inyo. You’ve offered something to tie the people, allowing gambling and maybe it can help in the economic activity because money goes around. But if you **** government, that’s something else. Talagang kayo ang nanghingi. Ibibigay ko sa inyo,” Duterte said on Friday.
The decision of the President affected 21,000 outlets nationwide.
Meanwhile, several Senators said that they’re ready to investigate the alleged corruption in PCSO.
“Definitely. Motu propio ito, pwede naman ‘yun,” Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman Richard Gordon said.
“Late next week na. Early next week siguro itong kay Duque and then after that pasok na tayo sa PCSO,” he added
“Ang iimbestigahan natin, why the President stopped them? Is it because there’s actual corruption? Is it because there really is more money going to the illegal rather than the legal?” the senator also said.