VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Marcos, Tulfo NOT shutting down PCSO


A video circulating on social media falsely suggests that President Ferdinand Marcos and Sen. Raffy Tulfo issued an order to close down the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

On April 23, a YouTube channel published a video that bore the headline:

KAKAPASOK LANG SENADO NASHOCKED sa NATUKLASAN at UTOS ni RAFFY TULFO PBBM sa PCSO mga BUWAYA IYAK NA (Just in. The Senate was shocked at the discovery and order of Tulfo, Marcos on PCSO. Corrupt officials cry).”

Featuring a photo of the police closing down PCSO outlets, the video’s thumbnail carried the following misleading text:

PCSO IPASARADO NA! GRABE! ITO ANG BIGLAANG UTOS NI TULFO, PBBM (PCSO should be shut down! This is too much! This is the sudden order of Tulfo, PBBM)!”

Neither Marcos nor Tulfo, who chairs the Senate committee on games and amusement, have announced plans to halt the PCSO’s operations. At around the 16-second mark of the 19-minute video, the narrator said this call for shutting down the PCSO was a sentiment that came from some netizens.

While the video showed a clip of Tulfo in a Feb. 13 committee hearing where he criticized the PCSO over unauthorized collection of prize fund taxes worth P4 billion and its failure to provide healthcare coverage to its small-time bet collectors, he did not call for its shutdown.

The photo of the police shown in the video thumbnail is not recent. It was taken in 2019 by Rappler when former President Rodrigo Duterte temporarily halted all games of the PCSO due to “massive corruption”.

The misleading video emerged after Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III questioned the successive lotto draws won almost every week recently, and sought to launch an investigation on the operations of the PCSO.

YouTube channel PINAS NEWS INSIDER (created on Dec. 26, 2015) published the video, garnering more than 228,000 views and 4,900 interactions. 

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(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)