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Pimentel calls for new PCSO probe


04:09 AM September 17th, 2012

September 17th, 2012 04:09 AM

Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III. MATIKAS SANTOS/ PHOTO

Officials of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) under the Aquino administration would be called to the Senate to explain the alleged violation of its exclusive leasing agreement with a Malaysian conglomerate after the agency signed a contract with another company without public bidding.

Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, chairman of the Senate committee on games and amusements, said the probe was necessary as the charge hurled by Malaysian conglomerate Berjaya was “very serious.”

Pimentel said Berjaya Philippines made a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) that its subsidiary had authorized the filing of “criminal, civil and administrative cases against the state-owned PCSO.”

The senator quoted a resolution from Berjaya Philippines’ subsidiary, Philippine Gaming Management Corp. (PGMC), saying it had authorized its president, Paulino Soo, to file the lawsuit against the PCSO.

Pimentel’s office said Berjaya Philippines and the PCSO, the lessee, had an agreement under which PGMC, as the exclusive provider, leased to the state gaming firm its specialized lottery equipment for PCSO’s online lottery in Luzon.

Under the agreement, PGMC is the sole provider or exclusive source of lottery equipment for Luzon until its expiration in August 2015.

In its complaint to the PSE on June 1, Berjaya Philippines said “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.”

Pacific Online Systems Corp. is a unit of leisure estate and gaming firm, Belle Corp. It leases to PCSO the equipment for its online lottery operations in the Visayas and Mindanao.

Pimentel said the popularity of lotto, which is managed by the PCSO, pushed him to “also look into the integrity of all lotto games.” Cathy Yamsuan

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