Palace: New conditions set for STL operators will prevent corruption

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 23 2019 08:39 PM

MANILA - Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Friday expressed confidence that new conditions set for Small Town Lottery (STL) franchise holders will prevent corruption in its operations. 

“From my point of view, the conditions are very onerous on the part of the STL and there is parang mahirapan na silang magkaroon ng (they will have a hard time finding an) excuse not to remit or to swindle the government with respect to the shares,” Panelo told reporters.

Panelo earlier announced that President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the lifting of his suspension order on the operations of the STL subject to the compliance of franchise holders to a number of conditions.

These conditions were enumerated by Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) General Manager Royina Garma during a live video on Facebook. 

These are the following: 

  • The Authorized Agent Corporations (AACs) shall deposit to the PCSO a cash bond equivalent to three months of the PCSO’s share in the guaranteed monthly retail receipts (GMMRR) on top of their existing cash bonds.
  • Upon failure to timely and fully remit their GMMRR during the duration of operations, the AAC’s cash bond equivalent to three months of the PCSO’s share in the GMMRR shall be automatically forfeited in favor of PCSO, without prejudice to the other remedies that may be exercised by the government.
  • Each AAC shall execute a written undertaking that it shall comply with its obligations under the STL agency agreement and will not institute any claims, monetary or otherwise against the government and or apply for a temporary restraining order or injunction from any court to prevent the government from exercising its rights and prerogatives.
  • The STL agency agreement shall automatically be terminated upon violation of the conditions of their franchise and or any of the above conditions without prejudice to the other remedies that may be exercised by the government.

Panelo admitted that he has yet to know what prompted Duterte to lift the suspension of STL operations even as the investigation of corruption allegations has yet to be concluded. 

“Di ba sabi ni chair Garma, yong statement niya ano e, 'upon the recommendation of the PCSO.' So apparently, the board of the PCSO made the recommendation. You must remember that chair Garma was involved in the investigation. Inimbestigahan niya 'yon e,” Panelo said.

(Remember chair Garma said that [the lifting shall take effect] 'upon recommendation of the PCSO.' So apparently, the board of the PCSO made the recommendation. You must remember that chair Garma was involved in the investigation. She was investigating that.)