VERA FILES FACT CHECK: PCSO NOT suspended, Robles NOT removed from position

Imee Marcos and Rodante Marcoleta suspended the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

YouTube channel PHILIPPINES TRENDING NEWS 2024-01-27 False

Neither Marcos nor Marcoleta ordered for the PCSO’s suspension. Marcos only said lotto draws should be temporarily suspended while the Senate probe on the legitimacy of PCSO’s lottery games is ongoing.

Two videos on YouTube are erroneously claiming that Sen. Imee Marcos and SAGIP Party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta ordered the suspension of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO). This is not true.

On Jan. 27, two YouTube channels published videos with this false claim. One bore the headline:

KAKAPASOK LANG Grabe ang Utos! Sen Imee Cong Marcoleta PCSO SUSPENDlDO na Mr. Robles Tanggal agad?

(JUST IN, this order is serious! Sen. Imee, Cong. Marcoleta SUSPENDED PCSO. Mr. Robles removed?)”

A similar false claim was shown on the videos’ thumbnails, which added that PCSO General Manager Melquiades Robles has been removed from his post. It read:

“SUSPENDIDO NA! SENADO TINAPOS ANG PCSO. ROBLES TANGGAL NA! (Suspended! Senate finished PCSO, Robles has been removed!)”

This is false. Neither Marcos nor Marcoleta have given orders to suspend PCSO’s operations or remove Robles from office.

Sen. Imee Marcos and Rep. Rodante Marcoleta did not suspend the PCSO.

Marcos only said that lotto draws should be temporarily suspended while the Senate probes the integrity of PCSO’s lottery games.

In a Jan. 26 online interview with the media, Marcos called for the temporary suspension of all lotto games – not PCSO itself – while the Senate probe on the legitimacy of the lotto jackpot winners is ongoing.

During last week’s Senate committee hearing on games and amusement, chairperson Sen. Raffy Tulfo told Robles of allegations that the PCSO had planted insiders to manipulate the lotto results. Robles denied such a claim and said lotto games cannot be rigged.

VERA Files Fact Check has debunked several false claims related to the lottery controversy of the PCSO. (Read NO ‘revelation’ from Imee Marcos on lotto issue and PCSO exec NOT ‘real winner’ of P43-M lotto draw)

Disinformation related to the PCSO was sparked by a viral photo of a lotto winner that was heavily edited by the agency, casting doubt on the legitimacy of the lottery draw results. Robles previously said this was to conceal the identity of lotto winners.

YouTube channels PHILIPPINES TRENDING NEWS (created on Dec. 10, 2014) and TUNAY NA KRITIKO (Jan. 22, 2020) published the untrue videos, collectively garnering over 47,000 views and 700 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.)