By Marjaleen Ramos
Former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) Chairman Ayong Maliksi on Wednesday said he believes that the PCSO should not be abolished.
“Para sa akin, talagang hindi po naman dapat mapatigil ang operation ng lotto, gawan ng dialysis fund, wala namang diperensya don. Very transparent ‘yun talaga, ang may diperensya talaga ay yung STL,” Maliksi said.
“Napakalaging bagay sa PCSO dahil diyan po talaga nanggagaling ang ibinibigay na tulong ng PCSO sa lahat ng may sakit na luimalapit sa tanggapin,” he said.
The ex-PCSO chair said that the income from lotto continually grows.
“Mayroong mga porsye-porsyento na naaalis doon sa actual income ng lotto, merong para sa operasyon ng tanggapan. ‘Yung mga natitira, ‘yun ang patuloy na nakatutulong sa lahat ng tao,” Maliksi said.
Maliksi recalled that there were at least 60 small town lottery operators in 2015 to 2016.
“Lahat ng pandaraya ay nangyayari sa small town lottery, pero marami tayong kababayan na gustong sumugal.”
He said that STL operators are dummies of jueteng lords.
“Palagay ko may mga lokal na nagsisimula ulit ng jueteng. At lalong mas naging masaya sila nung bumalik ang STL. Palagay ko nagkaroon ng legitimacy ang jueteng dahil sa STL.”
The former PCSO chief suggested that PCSO should take over small town lottery operations. “Wag na bigyan ng license ang mga STL operator.”
“Nakakahiyang aminin pero naging failure ako pagdating sa pag-eradicate ng corruption sa PCSO.”
He also said that the PCSO charter should be amended.
“Dapat gawing mas makapangyarihan ang chairman ng PCSO at tanggalin na ang mga operators,” he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered to shut down the gaming operations of the PCSO over alleged massive corruption.
The Palace claimed there was a conspiracy among major players in the PCSO that deprived the government of its rightful share of revenues.
On Tuesday night, Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo announced that the President has lifted the suspension of operations of the PCSO’s lotto game.
“Franchise holders and operators of lotto outlets may now resume with their operations. The lifting of the suspension of lotto operations takes effect immediately,” he said.
However, other PCSO games will remain suspended pending an investigation into the alleged corruption in the agency.
“The rest of all gaming operations with franchises, licenses, or permits granted by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), such as Small-Town Lottery (STL), Keno, and Peryahan ng Bayan (PNB), shall remain suspended pending the investigation of illegal activities and corrupt practices related thereto until the Office of the President evaluates the results of said probe,” Panelo said.