Guevarra orders NBI to probe alleged PCSO corruption
MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Monday ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a probe on the alleged “massive corruption” inside the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office which prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to order the closure of all gaming operations of the agency.
“The NBI, through Director Dante Gierran, is hereby directed and granted authority to conduct an investigation and case build-up on the alleged graft and corrupt practices in the PCSO and its various gaming operations, and if evidence warrants, to file the appropriate charges against persons found responsible therefor,” Guevarra said in Department Order No. 384.
He also directed the NBI to submit reports on the progress of the investigation and case build-up.
President Duterte had ordered all gaming operations of PCSO to be shut down. Malacañang said the gaming ban would remain in effect until the end of the investigation.
As of Sunday, the Philippine National Police said it had closed 6, 313, Lotto stores, 20,241 Small Town Lottery kiosks, 190 STL drawing centers, and 2, 762 Peryahan ng Bayan outlets nationwide since the President issued the order. Also shut down were 778 Keno shops.
Over the weekend, Guevarra said: “The President has the authority to order the suspension, even the termination, of PCSO-licensed gaming operations upon prima facie proof that licensees are not faithfully complying with their legal obligation to remit the correct amount of the government’s share in revenues, or that their operations are tainted by fraud, deceit, or corruption.”
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