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Laguna solon says STL shares not in cash, but medicines

/ 11:04 PM August 16, 2011

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna—A legislator from this province said the shares her district received from operations of Small Town Lottery (STL) went directly for medical services of people in the district, adding she never received cash from the state-run game.

Rep. Ivy Arago (third district) said she specifically requested medicines from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) “to keep myself (free) from corruption issues.”

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“We are losing big if we cease getting our shares from the STL,” she said. “Thank you for airing our side because there really are congressmen who got their shares for legitimate purposes.”

As early as January 2008, the Laguna STL operator, Ramloid Gaming Corp. has agreed to the written request of Arago, who is currently pregnant, for the 2.5-percent share of her district in STL proceeds be given in the form of medicines.

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The medicines, Arago said in a statement, are used in medical and dental missions. The number of beneficiaries in these missions has reached 127,000, she said.

Another Laguna legislator, Rep. Edgar San Luis (fourth district), admitted that his district has also been receiving shares from Ramloid but these were “properly liquidated.”

San Luis showed the Inquirer copies of liquidation reports he furnished Ramloid since November last year.

Four Laguna legislators, including Arago and San Luis, were identified as among 54 representatives receiving shares from STL operations.

San Luis said his district—the poorest in Laguna—received P277,111 in STL revenue shares over three months from 2008 to 2009.

The STL firm directly paid this amount to a drugstore where medicines for San Luis’ hospitalization projects were bought. The financial aid, however, ceased for some time when the STL operator claimed that its collections dwindled.

His records showed that the district received its share amounting to less than P200,000 monthly from November 2010 to June 2011.

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TAGS: hospitalization, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), Regions, Rep. Edgar San Luis (fourth district), Rep. Ivy Arago (third district), small town lottery (STL)
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