Press Release
July 29, 2019

Hontiveros on Duterte's ban of PCSO games:

If President Rodrigo Duterte wants to purge corruption out of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), then he should go after his corrupt officials who connive with jueteng operators in using PCSO small town lottery (STL) franchises as fronts for illegal gambling operations.

But why shut down the entire multi-billion peso charity operations, including small lotto outlets which are highly regulated by the government?

Why is President Duterte punishing ordinary people for the corruption of his officials? Thousands of our fellow Filipinos rely on the PCSO for financial assistance to cover costly medical expenses; at times these are matters of life and death for many. Many Filipinos also base their employment and livelihood on small lotto operations. Bakit sila dinadamay ng Pangulo sa katiwalian at kasakiman ng mga opisyales niya?

The President made abrupt, yet serious allegations. He should clearly explain these allegations and the deeper issues to the public. Who exactly are involved? What were their violations? How pervasive is the corruption within the PCSO? How are these forms of corruption carried out? And why expose this only now after three years of handling the PCSO?

I also would like to know if the President seriously considered its effects on the national budget, particularly the budget on health? How big is the financial fallout? Were all the relevant agencies and budget managers consulted before this ban took place?

"Lax on Chinese online gambling and jueteng"

President Duterte should clearly lay out his policy on gaming operations with franchises and permits, especially the Chinese-dominated Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs), which resulted in the influx of illegal Chinese workers in the country and even illegal gambling like jueteng, which the President expressed his preference for and said that he will tolerate. I am worried that the President is setting double standards: being heavy handed against selected local licensed gambling operations such as the PCSO on the one hand, but lax and permissive towards Chinese online gambling and jueteng. Ang kaya lang ba ng Pangulo ay magpasara ng mga maliliit na lotto outlets pero walang imik sa Chinese online gambling at jueteng?

Fire-and-recycle policy breeds corruption

l also call on President Duterte to dump his fire-and-recycle policy on public officials accused of corruption. Based on numerous reports, as of 2018, more than a dozen officials who have been accused of corruption or abuse of public funds were reappointed, retained in another capacity, or promoted within the Duterte government. No wonder there is massive corruption under President Duterte. The President tolerates it.

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