Ban STL violators from LNB operation
As PCSO probably knows by now, I am against the continued operation of the Small Town Lottery (STL). And this is not only because STL is being used as “cover” for illegal “jueteng” operation.
During the previous administration, I raised the fact that there was no accountability and transparency in the operation of STL because no receipts were being issued. Thus, we were left in the dark as to STL’s total earnings. Without proper accounting, the actual pot money could not be determined; so would the respective shares of government agencies and local government units; and the PCSO could be cheated of its share and the Filipino people, of the taxes due from the STL authorized agents—funds that could be used to finance social and other health-related services for the benefit of the people.
PCSO officials, particularly Romualdo Quiñones, assured me as early as the first quarter of 2008 that by July 2008, handheld terminals will be used by STL cobradores. The handheld terminals were supposed to release quadruplicate copies of receipts and reflect the numbers betted on.
During the Senate committee hearings conducted on Oct. 14, 2010, lawyer Jose Ferdinand Rojas II, the present general manager of PCSO, admitted that until then no handheld terminals were in use and there were operational violations by the current STL authorized agents. For this reason, PCSO “reinvented” STL and converted it into “Loterya ng Bayan” (LNB).
To date, still, no such receipts are being issued to STL bettors. To verify this fact, I personally placed a bet with an STL cobrador in Minalin, Pampanga. I was given a piece of white paper with the numbers I betted on and the amounts of bet. This is similar to the piece of yellow paper issued by a jueteng cobrador to a friend in July 2009.
PCSO Chair Margarita Juico has known all along of the various and blatant violations of many authorized STL agents. (Yet she has not canceled their franchises. The inaction clearly shows her being remiss in her duties, which is in violation of several administrative and criminal laws in this country.)
For not issuing STL receipts and for violating STL law and regulations, authorized STL agents should not be allowed to operate LNB. I am therefore interposing my objection to the granting of LNB franchise to these authorized STL agents or to corporations with officers coming from firms that have violated STL operational policies and guidelines. It would be unreasonable and illogical to allow them to operate LNB. The postponement of LNB implementation has already caused undue damage to Filipinos.
Please understand that this opposition is without prejudice to my previous position calling for a stop to the STL/LNB and the strengthening of lotto operation instead. Linoloko lang nila tayo at pinapaikot. Sana hindi rin ito ang ginagawa ninyo sa amin.
—EDDIE T. PANLILIO,
467 San Nicolas, Minalin,
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