President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday expressed support to police and military officers who own small town lottery kiosks from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, saying there is nothing wrong with businesses as long as they are complying with the law.
Addressing policemen in Camp Crame during the 118th year of the Philippine National Police, Duterte said he would not hold a grudge against police officers running businesses recognized by the law.
His statement came after he had recently ordered the suspension of all gaming franchises of PCSO, including STL, amid allegations of massive corruption.
“Let me say this to you now. The allegation that police generals, retired, are into the STL, lotto, and whatnot, I said: ‘You do not have a problem with me.’ If it’s bidding, you participate as long it is not rigged in your favor and you secure it complying with the laws, no corruption,” Duterte said.
He said police officers should simply ask to be assigned in a police station far from where they run their STL franchises out of propriety.
“I will not begrudge you. If it’s clean, you don’t deprive government of money due to the country and the people, it’s okay with me,” he said.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a former police chief, earlier said police and military generals were among those who have not been remitting the government’s share of the earnings.
Sandra Cam, former board member of PCSO, also said she will soon name high-ranking persons involved in corrupt practices in the agency, some of whom were close to Duterte.
The allegations of corruption prompted the Chief Executive to shut down PCSO games nationwide.
Lotto operations resumed after he had lifted the suspension, saying there could be no corruption in it.
Gaming schemes such as the STL, Peryahan ng Bayan, and Keno remain suspended pending results of an investigation.