MANILA, Philippines—Philippine Gaming Management Corporation (PGMC) has shrugged off as baseless the claim of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office that its contract with PGMC is not binding.
PGMC legal counsel Jose Bernas said the PCSO official who made the claim was “clutching at straws.”
The PCSO official said that the “whereas clause” in its contract with PGMC was not binding.
The whereas clauses, Bernas said, were “givens” that served as basis for the body of a legal document.
“This is a legal stretch that we believe is tied to the contempt case we filed against PCSO officials recently,” he said.
PGMC recently asked a Makati regional trial court to cite PCSO officials for defying the order barring PCSO from letting the exclusive lotto operator for Visayas and Mindanao, Pacific Online System Corp., to do business in Luzon, which is the domain of PGMC.
Pacific Online was allowed by PCSO to install lotto equipment in Luzon without any bidding and in violation of PGMC’s claim of exclusivity, Bernas said.
He added that even Pacific Online admitted in its annual report that “the online lottery system providers associated with PCSO do not directly compete with each other. Online operations in the country are segmented as Luzon operations and VisMin operations.”
Further, Bernas said PGMC won the bid in 1993 to cover the whole Philippines but somehow the government unilaterally decided to give it Luzon only.
“Now PCSO wants to allow the non-winner in the 1993 bidding to in effect operate throughout the country, and worse, without any bidding,” he said.