NBI probe to cover PCSO’s alleged failure to remit gov’t share from STL
MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Tuesday revealed that the National Bureau Investigation (NBI) would also investigate the alleged failure of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to remit proper government shares from its small-town lottery (STL) operations.
This came after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered all gaming activities of PCSO, including lotto and STL, to be stopped amid the alleged “massive corruption” in the agency.
The order prompted the DOJ to order the NBI to probe the alleged corruption within the agency.
“It will focus on allegations that yung proper government share is not being remitted by STL or peryahan ng bayan and so forth, so duon naka focus yon,” Guevarra told reporters.
“I can only go by estimates which were provided by yourselves, media people, your own resources, we’re talking about billions of pesos here, not simply hundreds of millions, but billions over a period of time, let’s say in years time,” he added.
Guevarra added that the probe would cover PCSO’s gaming operations “all the way five years back or at the very least, since 2016 or the time that this administration took over.”
Further, Guevarra said the NBI would also look into the agency itself— including its officials and employees.
“That’s only one side of it, the other side will probably focus on what’s happening inside the PCSO, that will be an investigation of its own officials and employees,” Guevarra said.
The justice secretary said the investigation might take time but he has asked the NBI to submit progress reports for the monitoring of the investigation.
There may be an initial finding as early as a week from the start of the probe, Guevarra said.