PACC probes exec over illegal STL ops
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - December 14, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) is set to investigate ranking officials outside the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) allegedly involved in corruption in the controversial small-town lottery (STL).

PACC Commissioner Manuelito Luna revealed yesterday that their probe on anomalies in STL is not confined to PCSO officials as it would also cover other government officials implicated in the controversy.

“We will leave no stone unturned. Our investigation is pursuant to the directive of President Duterte to run after those who committed corruption in PCSO games, which deprived the government of billions of funds that should have gone to social services for our poor countrymen,” he stressed.

Luna has refused to further reveal details so as not to preempt the ongoing investigation.

Insiders, however, bared that the PACC has been informed of the involvement of a ranking official who is allegedly benefiting from illegal STL operations.

The official – an undersecretary in the executive branch – has been reportedly receiving “millions in patong (payoffs)” from STL operators in Northern Luzon and Calabarzon.

“It’s ironic that the President is aggressively cleansing PCSO and the number games and unaware of illegal activities of one of his officials,” disclosed the source, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Deputy Speaker and Surigao del Sur 1st District Rep. Prospero Pichay earlier revealed that P225 billion is lost annually due to illegal STL operations since only 10 percent of STL operations in the country are legal.

He earlier asked probers to look into PCSO’s collections on STL as well as the remittance of each STL operator, reminding them of the reason President Duterte suspended the agency’s operations last July.

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