(File photo)

All gaming activities of around 60 lotto outlets in the city and province were closed Saturday by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) in compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order.

Orly Batislong, PCSO Palawan branch manager, confirmed tto Palawan News they have closed all lotto outlets and other gaming schemes starting July 27.

He said the PCSO will appeal the stoppage of small town lottery operation (STL) and other gaming activities, but he refused to say anything more.

“Lahat ‘yan nationwide ay suspended alinsunod doon sa order ni President (Rodrigo) Duterte. May statement na ang PCSO pero other than that ay hindi na muna namin masasagot. We will just follow the president’s order — kung ano ang directive ay ‘yon na ‘yon, sa ngayon ay suspended nga lahat [ng gaming schemes],” he said.

In a televised statement, Duterte ordered the closure of all STL, Keno, and other gaming system franchised by PCSO, citing “massive corruption” in the agency.

“I have ordered today the closure, the stoppage of all gaming schemes, whatever nature…, that the franchises from the PCSO. The ground is massive corruption, involving all, pati the court issued, repeatedly issued injunction to paralyze the government and to allow corruption to thrive. Pending investigation, lahat ng laro ng lotto, STL, Peryahan ng Bayan or whatever nature. There’s one, the gambling machine…, Keno, I said all gaming activities, ‘yong gambling, that got the franchise from the government through PCSO are as of today suspended or terminated becasuse of massive corruption,” he said.

PCSO General Manager Royina Garma said in a statement that they will appeal to the Office of the President for the resumption of games in PCSO.

“Pursuant to the order of the President, suspending PCSO’s gaming activities, the PCSO Board directs compliance to said instruction until further notice. Rest assured that PCSO shall appeal to the Office of the President for the resumption of the conduct of all games to PCSO’s mandate and for the interest of the PCSO, its agents and its beneficiaries,” she said.

Also, the PCSO management also informed the public to keep all their tickets until the president lifts the suspension.

“To our valued customers, please be advised that our PCSO games are suspended pursuant to the directive of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. All players with advance play tickets are advised to keep their tickets until further notice,” Garma said.