By Manly M. Ugalde
LEGAZPI CITY --- The controversial Small Town Lottery (STL) in Albay run by a firm allegedly traced to notorious gambling lords based in Tagalog region is headed toward losing its franchise following the cold-blooded murder of the firm’s top official a few days ago.
The firm, registered as Lucky V Prime Enterprises, holder of STL franchise granted by Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, reportedly has P250M of unsettled accounts with the PCSO.
Last Nov. 15, the chairman of Lucky V, identified as Alex Herman Alemania was shot and wounded while inside his van at a parking lot of a shopping mall here by two gunmen on board a motorcycle. He died while undergoing treatment at a hospital
here five days later.
Two days following the ambush, Gov. Al Francis Bichara called for a press conference at his office at the provincial capitol said he would ask President Rodrigo Duterte to stop STL in Albay being operated by Lucky V.
Bichara spokesperson Danny Garcia promised to give members of the local media copy of Bichara’s letter but up to now no such letter came for unexplained reason.
Marlon Magsino, one of the two suspected gunmen was killed by the responding policemen while his companion, identified as Michael Malveda, was critically wounded and rushed to the nearest hospital where he is under police custody. Both the suspects are reportedly natives of Batangas province.
During a regular session of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Albay in July this year, Lucky V chairman Alemania told the provincial board members that his firm failed to comply with its monthly remittances to the PCSO that in turn would have remitted the share of the respective LGUs from STL bet collections because of the ‘jueteng’ bookies. This prompted the provincial board to pass a resolution asking PCSO and the Philippine National Police to stop Lucky V’s STL operation throughout the province
The PCSO Albay reported that for the month of July 2017, Lucky V was only able to remit the total amount of P18,000, a far cry from its stipulated monthly remittance of at least P2M.
PCSO General Manager Alex Balutan last week said Lucky V owes PCSO some P250M in remittances since the gaming firm began operation in May this year.
The Presumptive Monthly Retail Receipts (PMRR) which is the presumed monthly sales set by the government for Lucky V was pegged at P77,640,000.
PCSO assessment showed that Lucky V was earning P4M daily or P120M monthly. It was also talked about that internal dispute was obtaining among the members of the board of Lucky V Prime Enterprises.