A NONGOVERNMENTAL group has filed a corruption and plunder complaint at the Ombudsman against Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) officials and the directors of a private company in connection with the agency’s e-lotto operations.

In a 38-page complaint, the Filipinos for Peace, Justice and Progress Movement said the deal gave the private company a 14% commission even if it had proposed zero commission or no cost to the government.

Under their deal last year, the web application system, payment gateway, telecommunication cost, service level agreement premium support, cloud service subscription and maintenance and service hosting costs had been originally offered at no cost to the PCSO, the group said.

The memorandum of agreement eventually signed by PCSO General Manager Melquiades A. Robles, one of the respondents in the complaint, provided a 14% commission, the civic group said, alleging “criminal intent to defraud the government.”

The group noted that on Jan. 17 alone, the PCSO logged P265 million in total e-lotto sales.

“As 14% of P265 million is P37.1 million just for one day, respondents could easily be committing plunder every other day from the outrageously excessive 14% commissions,” it added.

“The complaint has no legal leg to stand on because our memorandum of agreement is subject to review by the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC),” Mr. Robles said by telephone.

“[The complaint] was based entirely on a former OGCC review, which has already been superseded by a new one,” he added.  Chloe Mari A. Hufana