Pimentel to probe into integrity of lotto games

Posted at 09/16/12 6:01 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Senator Aquilino Pimentel III will launch a fresh probe against the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), which will also look into the integrity of the lotto games.

"The PCSO is supposed to be a under a regime of transparency and fairness as part of the government's stand against corruption in all levels of the bureaucracy," he said.

The probe stemmed from an allegation by Berjaya Philippines that the PCSO board violated their exclusive equipment leasing agreement.

The agreement provides that Berjaya’s subsidiary, Philippine Gaming Management Corp. (PGMC), will be the sole provider or exclusive source of lottery equipment for Luzon until its expiration in August 2015.

The PCSO board, led by chairman Margarita Juico, supposedly signed a deal with a new company sans public bidding.

On June 1, publicly listed Pacific Online disclosed "that the PCSO and Pacific Online entered into an agreement allowing Pacific Online to lease to PCSO lottery equipment for PCSO's online lottery operations in Luzon."

Berjaya, which is also listed, later authorized the filing of "criminal, civil and administrative cases against the state-owned PCSO."

It will now be the new PCSO board’s turn to face a probe.

The Senate launched several investigations last year, involving the previous officers of PCSO.