Palace down­plays im­pact of sus­pen­sion of PCSO games

Sun Star Bacolod - - Topstories -

MALA­CAÑANG on Tues­day, July 30, down­played the im­pact of the sus­pen­sion of all gam­ing ac­tiv­i­ties of the Philip­pine Char­ity Sweep­stakes Of­fice (PCSO) and as­sured that Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte does not plan to abol­ish the agency.

In a press con­fer­ence, Pres­i­den­tial Spokesper­son Sal­vador Panelo also stressed that the Pres­i­dent’s clo­sure order is le­gal. There is no need for the Pres­i­dent to is­sue a writ­ten di­rec­tive, he added.

An un­of­fi­cial tally by the PCSO showed that around 120,000 agents and work­ers will be af­fected by the clo­sure of over 30,000 lotto sta­tions and gam­ing out­lets na­tion­wide.

Panelo, how­ever, said the gov­ern­ment would not pro­vide in­ter­ven­tions for the dis­placed PCSO work­ers.

“I’m sure ‘yun na­mang mga naapek­tuhan, hindi na­man sila ganoon kahi­rap. Marami na­man silang kinita dur­ing those times na they were op­er­at­ing. So I’m sure meron silang pondo to live by,” he said.

(I’m sure those af­fected are not poor. They earned money dur­ing those times that they were op­er­at­ing. So I’m sure they have funds to live by.)

“Bakit, noong hindi pa ba sila em­p­leyado, hindi sila nabubuhay? Do not un­der­es­ti­mate the hu­man spirit of Filipinos. ‘Pag may du­marat­ing na storm o anu­mang sakuna o anong

mga bagsak sa at­ing buhay, nakakaa­hon na­man tayo,” Panelo added.

(Did they not sur­vive when they were still not PCSO em­ploy­ees? Do not un­der­es­ti­mate the hu­man spirit of Filipinos. We can sur­vive ev­ery time there is storm or dis­as­ter or any cat­a­strophic events.)

In re­sponse to a ques­tion on whether the sus­pen­sion is il­le­gal, Panelo said, “Hindi. Unang-una, ‘yung PCSO ay nasa opisina ng Pres­i­dente. Siya ang may kon­trol, su­per­vi­sion sa la­hat ng ahen­sya na nasa ilalim ng Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent.”

(No. First and fore­most, the PCSO is un­der the Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent. He has the con­trol and su­per­vi­sion of all agen­cies un­der the Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent.)

Panelo like­wise said there was no need for Duterte to sign a doc­u­ment which con­tains his clo­sure order of all PCSO gam­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

Panelo clar­i­fied that the Pres­i­dent merely stopped the op­er­a­tions of Pcso-li­censed games in an at­tempt to rid the agency of “mas­sive” cor­rup­tion within the state gam­ing firm.

“He did not abol­ish PCSO. He or­dered the clo­sure of out­lets. We’re not talk­ing of clo­sure of this agency. We’re talk­ing of stop­ping mas­sive cor­rup­tion,” the Palace of­fi­cial said.

“Ob­vi­ously, sa ngayon wala. Kung meron man, madali nang gawan ng paraan ‘yun (Ob­vi­ously, there is none, as of now. But if there is such plan, it can eas­ily be done). Whether it will en­tail [con­gres­sional act] or not, it will be done in a con­sti­tu­tional way,” he added, when asked if Duterte has plan of abol­ish­ing the PCSO.

He also noted that Duterte’s order was just “tem­po­rary.”

“Hindi kailan­gan (The Pres­i­dent does not need to sign a doc­u­ment). The di­rec­tive of the Pres­i­dent, even if ver­bal, is le­gal. As I said, it’s le­gal. So if it’s le­gal, you don’t have to put down in writ­ing,” Panelo said.

“It (clo­sure order) would ap­pear to be [just tem­po­rary]... Iyan ay pansaman­tala lamang (The order is just tem­po­rary). The Pres­i­dent wants to rid [the PCSO of] mas­sive cor­rup­tion and he has to do some­thing about it. We have to do what the Pres­i­dent has done,” he added.

Duterte, in a July 26 video mes­sage, or­dered the sus­pen­sion of all gam­ing ac­tiv­i­ties of the PCSO due to al­leged mas­sive cor­rup­tion in the agency.

He di­rected the po­lice and the mil­i­tary to en­force his order, which cov­ers all Pcso-li­censed games like lotto, Perya­han ng Bayan, small town lot­tery, and Keno.

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