PCSO says Albay STL is now open for bidding


By Celso Amo LEGAZPI CITY --- Small town lottery (STL) operation in Albay is now open for bidding after the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) terminated last week the franchise of Lucky V Prime Enterprises Corporation for its failure to remit P259.4M share to PCSO and for alleged illegal bookies operation. Sandra Cam, PCSO board of director and chairman for collection, said that based on the board meeting last Friday last week, the franchise of Lucky V has not been renewed. “It was already terminated and small town lottery operation by Lucky V should now stop,” said Cam during an interview Wednesday morning. Cam said that if Lucky V bet collectors continue soliciting bets then it is now illegal. “It’s already illegal because the franchise has been terminated,” she explained. Asked what will happen with the termination of the Lucky V franchise, Cam warns local government officials not to support bookies operation, which is illegal. “Even though Lucky V operation was legitimate before, it was still supporting bookies operation with local government officials,” said Cam. She added that STL operation in Albay will now be open for a new bidding. PCSO cancelled last August 8 the franchise of Lucky V to operate STL through Board Resolution No. 248 for its failure to remit P259.4M since it started operation in May 2017. Aside from failure to remit PCSCo share, Lucky V was also cited for operating jueteng bookies in the guise of a legitimate STL operation. The resolution 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. Lucky V was also cited for its failure to use official tickets or receipts in its transactions. The PCSO board decided to forfeit the P70M cash bond of Lucky V as penalty and payment for its unfulfilled obligations. It should be recalled that Alex German Alemania, chair of the Lucky V Prime Enterprises Inc., the STL operator in Albay, was shot dead last Nov. 21 last year by two suspects who were apprehended by Legazpi City police. The killing was blamed to the alleged ongoing competition in the bookies operation among the same board members of Lucky V Prime Enterprises Inc. Cam fears that with the coming election next year local chief executives will continue to operate STL even with the termination of Lucky V’s franchise.