Eight arrested over STL operation in Dagupan

CONTROVERSY rocked the Small Town Lottery (STL) operation in Dagupan City before it can officially start its operation following the arrest of eight persons claiming to be representatives of a company authorized by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) on May 9, Tuesday.

The eight were arrested while putting up the signage of their supposed company in front of a house in Barangay Poblacion Oeste on the complaint to the police of Arthur Jose of Poblacion 1 in Dagupan City.

Jose claimed to the police and newsmen that he is the corporate executive officer (CEO) of the Golden Go Rapid Gaming Corporation, the alleged PCSO-authorized agent to operate STL in Pangasinan and that the eight are not known to him.

Those arrested were Ronaldo Biluhan, Dennis Biluhan, Romeo Cornejo, Rodel Cornejo, Rey Maligaya, Noriega Macasaet, Rey Abliam and Lorenzo Mercana of Quezon and Batangas provinces, also claiming to be with GGRGC but headed by one Anthony Ang-angco.

Jose accused the eight with fraud and misrepresentation after he saw them putting up the sign identifying a house on Careenan Street in Poblacion Oeste as an outlet. He said they cannot use his company’s name since they are not part of the company.

One of the arrested suspects, Romeo Cornejo, said the STL has not started operations yet as they just arrived in Dagupan City on the night of May 8 after being called by Ang-angco.

In an interview, Cornejo mentioned the name of Councilor Guillermo Vallejos who can explain their presence in the city. The intended STL station is situated near the house of Vallejos.

As of 5:00 p.m. of May 9, Jose said the company’s lawyer in Manila will file cases of fraud and misrepresentation against the seven suspects and their supposed manager upon his arrival on May 10.

Jose said the national franchise granted by PCSO to GGRGC does not require it to secure a business permit from the Dagupan City government but he said he will pay a courtesy call on the city officials to inform them of GGRGC’S operations in the city.

He said under GGRGC, the winning number of the STL, like the lotto, will be drawn by a machine and will be witnessed by the public. (Leonardo Micua)