(UPDATES) THE Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) on Tuesday called the graft and plunder complaints filed by the group Filipinos for Peace, Justice, and Progress Movement (FPJPM) before the Office of the Ombudsman against some of its top officials as "dubious and questionable."

Included in the plunder and graft charges was PCSO General Manager Mel Robles.

The FPJPM filed the charges against PCSO officials and questioned Robles, other PCSO officials, and the private company Pacific Online System Corp. over the grant of a 14 percent commission to the private contractor.

Robles said that the technical rules on the PCSO's betting platforms, including that of e-lotto, was approved by the Office of the President, and that the agency is conducting e-lotto "pursuant to the authority given by the OP in 2021, given that it has sufficient authority and is in a better position to evaluate and approve its technical guidelines on betting platforms for the minimum technical requirements for PCSO games."

The conduct of e-lotto, he added, is in accordance with the advice of the agency's statutory counsel, the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) that found a memorandum of agreement that was signed last Aug. 30, 2023, with private company Pacific Online System Corp. as "tenable."

"The OGCC has already clarified its earlier stand that policy considerations call for the payment of commissions in the form of reasonable costs, at a rate capped by the PCSO Board of Directors according to its sound business judgment," he said.

Robles said that the issues discussed in the complaint were already tackled in hearings in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

"It is unfortunate that the FPJPM filed a complaint without understanding the MOA PCSO entered with a service provider. Our agreement is not final until we get a favorable decision from OGCC," he said.

"We will not take this matter sitting down. We will unmask those behind this dubious complaint and file appropriate counter-charges against them," Robles said.

2024-06-12T16:16:12Z dg43tfdfdgfd