A LOTTERY systems provider has recently filed a petition asking for a temporary restraining order from a Makati court against the bidding process of a P10.9-billion five-year lease for a unified Nationwide Online Lottery System contract of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
Documents obtained through a source showed the Philippine Gaming Management Corp.— which claims to be the exclusive supplier and lessor of lottery equipment to PCSO for Luzon —filed for an urgent relief before the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 143 to prevent the state lottery agency’s planned bidding for a new NOLS provider, scheduled to proceed on July 27.
Prior to this, a pre-bid conference was held June 20, with 13 prospective bidders participating.
It was the same court that granted PGMC’s petition for a writ of preliminary injunction in 2012 for alleged violations by PCSO on its claims to be the “exclusive” supplier/lessor of lottery equipment in Luzon.
In its defense against PGMC’s petition in 2012, the PCSO asserted two documents the PGMC continues to question, the Equipment Lease Agreement and the Amendment to the Equipment Lease Agreement neither provides the PGMC with exclusive rights, adding that exclusivity was “repugnant with a government policy that proscribes monopoly power.”
PCSO’s contract with PGMC is now nearing expiry, hence the need to procure a new online lottery system and reform it to continue raising and providing funds for health programs, medical assistance and services, and charities of national character.
Recently, President Rodrigo Duterte warned the judiciary against delaying government projects with temporary restraining orders or else face his ire.
“Do not wait for me. …I will take that piece of paper and throw it in your face,” he said in a May 23 speech before the Filipino community in Hong Kong.
Duterte said the TROs resulted in the government being unable to accomplish anything, adding that losing bidders in government projects were allegedly using TROs to twist the arms of the government.
When a case is dismissed due to inordinate delay, the State is deprived of its right to prosecute and seek the truth if a respondent is guilty or not, she added.
Deputy Ombudsman Gerard Mosquera said the date of reckoning of an inordinate delay must start once a preliminary investigation starts, and not during the initial fact-finding stage.
“The Office of the Ombudsman is a very unique public institution,” he said.
The Sandiganbayan blamed the Ombudsman for its delayed investigations that caused the dismissal of many graft cases.
But Morales said the anti-graft court, appellate court and regional trial courts also committed inordinate delays.
“Why don’t they look at the Sandiganbayan? Why don’t they look at the regional trial courts? Why don’t they look at the Supreme Court?” she told a previous CNN interview.
“Mirror themselves. Is there no inordinate delay on their part?”
Morales said the crimes against humanity complaint filed with the International Criminal Court at The Hague, the Netherlands would not hinder the Ombudsman to pursue an ongoing probe of the extrajudicial killings of the Duterte’s war on drugs.
Lawyer Jude Sabio filed a 77-page complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte with the International Criminal Court, accusing him and 11 others of mass murder and crimes against humanity.
“The ICC can only complement Philippine laws. If it would believe that the Philippine government is doing something to control or act upon the complaint, or the subject of the complaint of Edgardo Matobato, then probably the ICC will not move because it’s supposed to complement only,” she said. Rio N. Araja and Herand Kezia Pandaan