PCSO cites NBI for crackdown on illegal gambling despite having no share from STL revenue

September 28, 2017 - 3:05 PM
PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan approves on the spot a medical assistance request after personally checking required documents from a man who approached him after flag raising at the Lung Center in Quezon City. PCSO FILE PHOTO

MANILA – The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has commended the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for its continuing effort to fight illegal gambling even though it does not have a share in the revenues of the government’s Small Town Lottery (STL).

PCSO Chairman Jose Jorge Corpuz said the NBI Central Visayas recently raided six betting stations in the south. “The PCSO would like to congratulate NBI Central Visayas Regional Office over the arrest of six collectors and maintainers of the Peryahan ng Bayan in Central Visayas,” Corpuz said.

According to Corpuz, the NBI’s accomplishment supports President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order No. 13, intensifying the government’s fight against illegal gambling in the country.

“We also appreciate the prompt action taken on the request of our AAC in Cebu to abate the illegal operations of Peryahan ng Bayan in the same area,” Corpuz said, adding that those arrested were employees of Globaltech Mobile Online Corp.

The arrest was conducted after First Golden Fortune Leisure Inc. and Saturn Gaming N’ Amusement Corporation, both Authorized Agent Corporations (AACs) of the PCSO, complained to the NBI Central Visayas Regional Office that the illegal Peryahan ng Bayan was operating right beside legitimate STL operations.

“They are claiming they have PCSO approval when the authorization has already been terminated because of their refusal to remit revenues to the government,” said Corpuz.

Peryahan ng Bayan continues to operate several areas in Central Visayas although the PCSO had already terminated its deed of authorization (DOA) last year for its repeated refusal to comply with the terms of the DOA, Corpuz noted.

PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan said the PCSO has authorized new STL players to increase the government’s charity funds but the revenues of these AACs are suffering because of the continued operation of illegal gambling operations like Peryahan ng Bayan.

“After a year in the PCSO, we now know that Illegal gambling can be stopped, but the Philippine National Police should do their job, especially since they have a share in the revenues of the PCSO,” Balutan said.

The PNP enjoys a 2.5 percent share from the PCSO income from STL income, and yet has not even arrested any ‘big-time’ illegal gambling operations. In contrast, Balutan noted, the NBI – which does not even have a share from STL revenues – has been helping stamp out illegal gambling.

“We appreciate the continued assistance and coordination of NBI with the agency, although it does not receive a single centavo from STL. Please continue your crackdown against illegal gambling,” Balutan said.

NBI Central Visayas Regional Office Acting Regional Director Patricio Bernales Jr. said the six arrested Globaltech employees were all charged in court for violation of Presidential Decree 1602 in relation to Republic Act 9287.