By Wilnard Bacelonia
MANILA – Senators were told on Thursday that the currently viral photo posted by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) of a bettor claiming her prize of PHP43 million from 6/42 draw was indeed edited.
PCSO General Manager Mel Robles explained that they are editing the photo to protect the identity of the winner.
“Meron pong nagreklamo sa amin one time. We covered the face pero yung damit naman po ay nakilala. So, nagreklamo siya. Sana naman daw po huwag ipakita naman po yung damit. So, iyan po ang reason niyan (Someone complained to us one time. We covered that face but the clothes worn was identified. The winner complained that clothes being worn should not be shown. So, that’s the reason) and I agree it’s a very poor editing but the objective is to conceal the clothing,” Robles said.
“If there is something we have to apologize for is the poor editing but I think it has served its purpose of concealing the identity,” he added.
Robles attended the hearing conducted by a subcommittee of Ways and Means panel presided by Senator Raffy Tulfo who seeks to prohibit online placing of bets for lotto games and instant paper games including digit games, and Small Town Lottery.
Tulfo convened an executive session after the hearing to determine if the recent winners were real people amid suspicions of their connections to the PCSO.
“Gusto po naming makita kung talagang totoong tao yun and then gagawa nga ako ng (We want to see if they are real people and then I will do a) cross-checking,” he said adding that he plans to seek help of various government agencies to investigate the matter.
“Pag lumitaw na hindi [related sa PCSO], eh di sasabihin ko dito na hindi and talagang legit winner yan (If it comes out that the winners are not related to PCSO, I will announce here that it is not and they are legitimate winners),” Tulfo said.
The viral photo shows a bettor from San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan whose face was covered with a face mask and shades claiming the prize at the PCSO main office a day after hitting the jackpot of the Lotto 6/42 drawn on Dec. 28, 2023 worth PHP43,882,361.60.
The 47-year-old housewife bagged the jackpot after correctly guessing the winning numbers, 18-34-01-11-28-04, taken from her family’s birthdates and two other special numbers, 28 and 34.
One lucky bettor also bagged the 6/49 Super Lotto jackpot prize amounting to PHP640,654,817.60 drawn on Tuesday evening.
A lone winner on Wednesday night also bagged the jackpot in the Grand Lotto 6/55 draw worth over PHP698.8 million.
Under Republic Act 1169, winners have one year from the draw date to claim their prize by bringing their valid identification cards and their winning ticket at the PCSO main office in Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City. (PNA)