By Mar S. Arguelles
LEGAZPI CITY ---- Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairman Alexander Balutan has warned local chief executives to refrain from coddling local jueteng operators to avoid possible legal and administrative sanctions.
Balutan said he would be closely coordinating with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to bring this issue and subsequently submit the names of local officials found or reported to be involved in illegal gambling activities
“This serves as a warning for them to stop or else we will be submitting this list to the DILG and the police for appropriate action,” Balutan said
Balutan in a media forum here said they have a list of names of local chief executives who are abetting various sorts of illegal number games ranging from jueteng to masiao and the “last 2 numbers game.”
“Jueteng is a rich source of funds for politicians to buy votes and finance their campaign sorties. ”
Bulatan, however, admitted that it is difficult to eradicate the illegal number games, particularly jueteng that have since become widespread from Central Luzon to South Luzon down to Bicol.
‘Masiao’ and the ‘last 2 digit games’, on the other hand, are rampant in the Visayas and Mindanao.
Balutan during a PCSO media forum here disclosed that except for Albay, the PCSO-sponsored Small Town Lottery (STL) has been successful in fighting illegal gambling operations in Southern Tagalog and Bicol.
Balutan even tagged STL as the “jueteng killer” as people are now betting on the government-sponsored two-number lottery game, instead of jueteng.
Asked why the STL failed in Albay, Balutan said PCSO has canceled the franchise issued to the Lucky V Prime Enterprises Corporation to operate a Small Town Lottery (STL) in province-wide in Albay because it failed to remit a total of P259.4 million in monthly retail receipt.
PCSO Board Resolution No. 248 issued on August 8 this year, recommended the termination of the authority to operate given to operator Lucky for its failure to comply with the performance and obligations it had entered into with PCSO.
Balutan also said that Lucky V failed to use and issue official tickets/receipts either printed by the PCSO or the license holder. There was also the reported intra-corporate dispute within the franchise holder firm, he added.
Balutan said the PCSO board has also resolved to forfeit the P200 million cash bond of Luck V to answer for any and all of its liabilities, including but not limited to taxes, penalties and charges, damages or violation of any of its obligation under the IRR and the STL Agency Agreement.