Small Town Lottery should go to GAB or Pagcor, says Cam

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 08 2019 11:52 AM | Updated as of Aug 08 2019 12:43 PM

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MANILA - Operations of the Small Town Lottery (STL) would best be taken off the shoulders of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), an official of the state lottery agency said on Thursday.

"If I were to be asked, I would rather give this to GAB [Games and Amusement Board] or Pagcor [Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation] because we have to concentrate on the charity," said PCSO board member Sandra Cam.

Cam told ANC's Headstart that lotto is the lifeblood of the PCSO.

"I think lotto is enough for us," said Cam, adding that this numbers games is free from corruption because it is automated.

President Rodrigo Duterte on July 26 suspended the operations of all gaming schemes of the PCSO, citing "massive corruption" in the agency.

Lotto operations resumed on July 31 after the Palace explained that lotto was only dragged into corruption allegations hounding the entire PCSO.

Gaming activities such as the Peryahan ng Bayan, STL, and Keno remain suspended.

Cam alleged that friends of President Rodrigo Duterte whom he appointed to the PCSO are behind the alleged large-scale corruption involving STL.

"This is about massive corruption inside the PCSO involving retired generals that were being appointed there," Cam said.

She said a lot of STL operators have failed to remit revenues to the PCSO.

"Our charity funds went down. Hindi kami makabigay ng tunay na serbisyo kung maliit lang ang pumapasok na revenue sa amin," Cam said.

She said the first 18 STL operators have been compliant with their obligations to PCSO. 

"Nang nag-expand si former General Manager [Alexander] Balutan doon na pumasok yung mga STL operators, mga franchisees na wala naman talagang pera kung 'di mga dummies lang," she said.

Cam said STL operators have a shortfall of about P6-B to P10-B in the past few years. 

"It [expected revenue] should be around P6-B a month. Ngayon ang pumapasok lang sa amin P1-B o less than... It's a very big shortfall," she said. 

The former "jueteng" whistleblower accused Balutan and former PCSO Chairman Jose Jorge Corpuz, who is also a retired general, of being behind the corruption in STL operations.

Many more are involved in STL corruption, she said. 

"But the previous administration, ito yung pinagstartan nila ng corruption dahil sa mistah-mistah system," she said.

She claimed to have documents and evidence and even witnesses to prove her allegations. 

"File a plunder case against these people. If I were the president, gamitin niya ang bakal na kamay because majority of them are dummies," she said.

She believes that issue of corruption must be resolved first before STL is allowed to operate again.

"We need to clean first. Ibabalik niya yan sa tamang panahon at lugar na ma-clean up muna corruption sa STL at Peryahan na ito," she said.

The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission last week said a "lifestyle check" of officials of the state lottery agency would cover "everyone who held money," even Duterte’s friends.

Cam said she is ready to also be investigated.