Legal Battle Erupts Between a Small Town Lottery Operator and the PCSO Over STL License Cancellation

January 25, 2024 | Legal

PHILIPPINES (January 24, 2024) — According to local media reports a legal dispute has developed between Diamond Millenium Corporation (DMC) and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) regarding the cancellation of DMC’s license to operate small-town lottery (STL) outlets in a city and Misamis Oriental province.

The PCSO, through its general manager Melquiades Robles, canceled DMC’s authority to operate on July 13 of the previous year, citing the company’s failure to inform them about a change in its stockholders. Two weeks after the cancellation, PCSO started accepting applications for a new STL operator in the area and eventually awarded Hexaprime, Inc. as the sole authorized agent by October 2023.

DMC’s legal counsel, Katrina Mordeno, denies that the company failed to inform PCSO about the change in stockholders and claims that the information was communicated back in 2019. As a result, DMC launched a legal challenge against PCSO.

On January 8, the Supreme Court issued a status quo ante order, effectively setting back the legal situation to before Robles’ cancellation order on July 13. The court order reversed PCSO’s termination of DMC’s authority to operate STL outlets and prohibited Robles and other PCSO officials from implementing the termination letter.

Based on this court order, DMC reopened its 40 outlets. However, starting on January 18, DMC’s tellers were reportedly being arrested by the police for allegedly operating an illegal numbers game. Mordeno argues that these arrests are illegal since the Supreme Court order allows the operations of DMC, and she expressed confidence that law enforcement would respect and follow the court order.

This situation highlights a legal battle between the lottery operator and the government agency, with conflicting claims regarding the communication of changes in stockholders and the legality of DMC’s operations following the Supreme Court order.

SOURCE: Contributor.

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