By Celso Amo
LEGAZPI CITY --- The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has warned against local government units in Albay that are still supporting the operation of Lucky V Prime Enterprises Corp. after its franchise to operate Small Town Lottery (STL) was cancelled due to its failure to remit a total of P259.4M since its operation started in May 2017.
Sandra Cam, PCSO Director, said Lucky V Prime Enterprises Corp. must stop its operation starting September this year.
“Lucky V Prime Enterprises Corp. was not able to remit the amount because it was also
operating illegally as bookies in the guise of STL,” disclosed Cam.
“With elections coming next year...I have reports who among the LGUs in Albay are benefiting from and supporting bookies operation by Lucky V Prime Enterprises Corp.”
For one, Cam mentioned Sto. Domingo town in the first district of Albay but there are also reports that bookies are operating in other districts.
Alex ‘German’ Alemania, chair of the Lucky V Prime Enterprises Inc., the STL operator in Albay, died after he was gunned down Nov. 21 last year.
His death by two gunmen who were arrested after the incident was blamed on worsening competition in the bookies operation among the board members of Lucky V Prime Enterprises Inc.
PCSO issued Board Resolution No. 248 last August 8, this year, which terminated the STL franchise of Lucky V.
The resolution to strip Lucky V’s franchise was approved and signed by Anselmo Simeon Pinili, PCSO board chair; Alexander Balutan, vice chair and general manager; Wesley Barayuga, board secretary and Directors Marlon Balite, Jesus Manuel Suntay, and Sandra Cam.
Among other violations by Lucky V was the failure to use official tickets or receipts in the STL transactions.
The PCSO board decided to forfeit the P70M cash bond of Lucky V as penalty and payment for its unpaid obligations.
Cam also revealed that PCSO has incurred a shortfall of at least P10B from errant STL operation nationwide.