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Palace, PCSO, gambling lord delaying PLB launch

/ 12:56 AM January 23, 2012

What is really the reason behind the delayed implementation of the PCSO Loterya ng Bayan (PLB), the new version of the Small Town Lottery (STL) of the previous administration? The STL was scrapped after being discovered to be a front for jueteng.

A group which applied for franchises and bidded for contracts to operate the PLB in selected provinces and cities is asking this question, and it is calling on President Aquino to look into the delay.

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The idea of scrapping the STL and its replacement by the PLB was triggered after the Senate, in a probe into the misuse of PCSO funds, found out that STL betting stations were being used as fronts for jueteng and that a bigger portion of their sales went to gambling lords and not to the government.

Reports said that as of July last year, the number of PLB franchise bidders had reached more than 200 and by December totaled to 281. Of these, 110  are believed to be allies of a Central Luzon gambling lord loyal to the previous dispensation. After a thorough screening process and evaluation of the applicants’ legitimate businesses, experience, knowledge and capability to sustain lottery operations, the PCSO announced it was launching the PLB on Sept. 8. But the launching was moved to November, then to December. Finally, it assured that the PLB will be implemented this January. But due to the failed promises, even the 16 qualified bidders are now apprehensive that the launching will not take place again.

Suspicions are rife that the delay is being “intentionally” orchestrated by a Palace clique in connivance with a pro-Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo gambling lord and a relative of a top

PCSO official. Huge sums of money have allegedly been distributed to delay the launching.

The Palace clique-PCSO backroom operator-gambling lord triumvirate allegedly rakes in hundreds of millions in jueteng money at the expense of the government.

How can P-Noy convince the masses he is sincere in licking illegal gambling and graft and corruption if he does not know what is happening in his own turf or, if his own men are keeping skeletons in the closet without his knowledge? He should look into this to end public suspicion that the PLB is just the same dog with a different collar.

Every day of delay deprives government of much-needed funds for its development and poverty alleviation programs. To restore the dwindling public trust and confidence in government, P-Noy must take draconian measures, including the firing of erring subalterns who derail his advocacy for transparency and good governance and his unrelenting war against poverty and graft. Once he achieves this, he could well be in the tribe of Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Park Chung-hee of South Korea and Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew who all waged an all-out war against corruption, a war which resulted in great economic strides for their countries.

—EDGAR J. TAMAYO, spokesperson, Movement for Transparency in Lotto Operations (Motlo), Block 8, Lot 2, Aster Road, San Lorenzo Homes, Robinsons Homes-East, Barangay San Jose, Antipolo City

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TAGS: gambling, Government, Lottery, PCSO Loterya ng Bayan, PLB
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