President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said he would reconsider lifting the suspension of small town lottery if he will be assured there would be no corruption in its operations.
“If you can assure me that there will be no corruption, maybe I will consider,” Duterte said in a speech in Camp Crame.
“But if I’m not satisfied and if the bug guys are still there to manipulate the game, I will not allow it. I’m sorry,” he added.
The President ordered the suspension of all PCSO gaming activities on July 26 over allegations of “massive corruption” in the agency.
Four days after, Duterte has lifted the suspension of the lotto games, but STL operations remain suspended pending the investigation.
“The order is to protect government interest. Nothing follows. We are stuck to that oath. What is the oath? To protect the people and to preserve the Republic,” Duterte said.
Panelo earlier said Duterte was “thoroughly” investigating the corruption allegations at the state-run PCSO and that the Palace will name 10 agency officials involved in corrupt practices.
Meanwhile, Duterte said he cannot order the end of STL operations because the poor will turn to illegal drugs to earn a living.
“The machines there, let them. We cannot give jobs. And besides, in STL, lotto, there is already an existing organization. You create a vacuum, drugs will come in,” Duterte said.
“That’s the problem. I cannot boast and say, ‘I will do it. I will kill the STL or the jueteng that goes with it,’” he added.