Digong suspends lotto, gaming ops

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DAVAO CITY (July 27) — President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the suspension of all lotto operations and gaming sanctioned by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

In a television message Duterte ordered all gaming activities of the PCSO, including Lotto, Small Town Lottery, and Peryahan ng Bayan, to stop due to “massive corruption” on Friday night. 

“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,” Duterte said in his special message.

“The ground is massive corruption involving all [gaming activities], pati (and even) the courts [that] repeatedly issued injunctions to paralyze government and to allow corruption to thrive,” he added.

His order covers lotto, small town lottery (STL), Peryahan ng Bayan, and Keno, among others.

The President announced the order via a video post on the Presidential Communications Operations Office’s Facebook page.

On Saturday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said, in a statement, that the President will identify in due time the “culprits” in the “hydra-headed corruption” in all gaming activities.

Panelo said the “grand conspiracy” among major players and enforcers of these government-sanctioned gaming activities and enterprises must be stopped from cheating the government of its rightful shares.

He added that such corruption “deprives the masses of the basic services” they deserve.

PCSO General Manager Royina Garma told Newsline that, “the PCSO will comply the President’s order but shall appeal on some matters.”

The PCSO is a government-owned and controlled corporation under the Office of the President. It is mandated to raise and provide funds for health programs, including medical assistance and services.

“Pursuant to the order of the president, suspending PCSO’s gaming activities, the PCSO Board directs compliance to said instruction until further notice. Rest assured that PCSO shall appeal to the Office of the President for the resumption of the conduct of all games to PCSO’s mandate and for the interest of the PCSO, its agents and its beneficiaries,” the PCSO statement said.

Garma asked all their bettors with advance play tickets to keep their tickets until further notice.-NewsLine.ph

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