Retired generals among STL owners not remitting shares? ‘Chismis lang yata yun,’ says Panelo
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Tuesday said reports of retired generals as among small-town lottery owners (STL) not remitting shares were possibly mere hearsay.
Panelo said this after Sen. Panfilo Lacson earlier disclosed that the retired police and military officers with STL franchises allegedly did not remit shares from their collections to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
In an interview over CNN Philippines, Panelo was asked if President Rodrigo Duterte was looking into the alleged cases of retired generals who served as STL franchisers and financiers, the spokesman said: “Di ko alam yung generals, parang chismis lang yata yun, parang hindi naman totoo ‘yun.”
Sought for a comment regarding Panelo’s statement, Lacson said the presidential spokesperson was still “downplaying” the corruption in PCSO.
“If we go by Spox Panelo’s conclusion, we can easily understand why corruption in PCSO cannot be stopped. While PRRD (Duterte) himself has lamented the unabated corruption in the agency’s operation of the STL, his spokesman is still trying to downplay it,” Lacson said in a text message to INQUIRER.net.
“There must be millions of reasons behind it,” the senator added.
Duterte earlier ordered all gaming activities of PCSO, including lotto and STL, to be stopped.
The suspension for lotto operations was lifted days after.
Panelo said investigation on alleged reports of STL franchise holders not remitting their shares is still ongoing.
But once the investigation is done, Panelo said Duterte would reveal the names of the “major players” in the STL operations such as financiers and franchise holders.
“He will name them ‘pag tapos na ang imbestigasyon… Malalaman nya yun at the end of the report,” Panelo said.
Panelo disclosed that one of the owners did not remit shares amounting to P100 million.
“Mayroon ngang isa dun P 100 million hindi nagbabayad. Na-enjoin ng court e, hindi na nga nagbayad tumuloy ang operation pa, nung pinapatigil, na-enjoin ng court,” Panelo said.
Panelo, however, could not confirm the identity of the owner.
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