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The government was allegedly losing over P7 billion a year in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes (PCSO) during the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III due to corruption. President Rodrigo Duterte revealed this during his talk to the troops at Camp Tecson in San Miguel, Bulacan on Friday.

“As a matter of fact, itong Philippine Charity Sweepstakes, binaboy ‘yan ng mga sindikato pati ‘yung mga, ‘yung mga gangster dito na big time sa Pilipinas (was used by the syndicates and big-time gangsters in the Philippines),” he said. ADVERTISEMENT Duterte said he has tapped retired Maj. Gen. Alexander Balutan, who was earlier reported to head the Bureau of Corrections, as general manager of PCSO to “kill” corrupt officials of the state-run lottery agency. “So we were losing about 20 million a day,” he said. He said the officials who previously ran the PCSO were also linked to the illegal number racket. “Yung lotto, sinakyan nila ng jueteng, pero sila rin ang humawak (They controlled both the lotto and jueteng) and they were granted that right by previous government. We were losing billions of pesos a year in taxes,” he said. Margarita Juico was the former chairperson of PCSO during the term of Aquino and was replaced by Erineo “Ayong” Maliksi in 2015.

In July 2016, the Office of the Ombudsman filed graft charges against former and incumbent officials of PCSO, including its Maliksi and Juico, over the extension of contracts for the lease of lottery terminals without public bidding. In 20102, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was charged with plunder in the alleged misuse of P366 million in the state-run lottery funds that went to “fictitious” expenses in the last two and a half years of her term. Duterte earlier said that he was looking for the “one” who has the guts to get rid of crooks plaguing one of the juiciest agencies of the government. RAM

source: newsinfo.inquirer.net/

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