Duterte lifts suspension order on lotto operations

CLOSED. A cop oversees the closure of a lottery outlet in Makati City. NCRPO photo

CLOSED. A cop oversees the closure of a lottery outlet in Makati City.

NCRPO photo

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Lotto outlets licensed by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) may now resume operations, Malacañang said on Tuesday night, July 30.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the suspension order imposed by President Rodrigo Duterte has been lifted, but only for lotto operations.

"We would like to announce to the public that the suspension of the lotto operations is lifted effective immediately," he said in a phone interview aired on ANC.

Panelo said he had just spoken with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea who informed him of the development.

"Only with respect to lottos. The rest of the gaming operations are still undergoing investigation. Pending results of that, per the executive secretary, the suspension on the lotto operations is lifted," Panelo said.

It was Medialdea who had advised Duterte to lift the suspension of lotto operations, Senator Bong Go said.

The President's sudden blanket verbal order stopping operations of all PCSO gaming formats in order to curb "massive corruption" had been widely criticized. (READ: Legal issues with Duterte's PCSO gaming shutdown)

Senator Panfilo Lacson had said the order should not have covered lotto outlets since there have been no reports of revenue cheating there. Medialdea echoed this sentiment. 

"According to the executive secretary, the suspension for the lotto operations has been lifted because investigators found no anomalies in the conduct of its operation," Panelo said in a separate statement on Tuesday. 

Lotto operations are computerized and automated, unlike small town lottery or Peryahan ng Bayan where insiders say most of the corruption takes place. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.