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DMC cries foul over arrest of its lotto employee


DIAMOND Millennium Corporation – one of the two companies currently contesting in court to operate as the exclusive small town lotto operator in Cagayan de Oro City and Misamis Oriental – has threatened to file criminal and administrative complaints against police officers who have arrested one of its employees for continuing to operate an STL outlet in barangay Carmen here.

In a statement, Diamond Millennium Corporation legal counsel Dale Mordeno said that police officers must abide by the status quo ante order issued by the Supreme Court on January 8 stopping the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) from terminating Diamond Millennium Corporation to operate here.

The status quo ante order was issued by the court’s Third Division.

Following the issuance of the order, dozens of Diamond Millennium Corporation outlets have sprouted back in the city and began operating again since they were stopped by PCSO on July 12 last year.

Yet between January 8 to the present, Diamond Millennium Corporation’s rival Hexaprime Inc. has still continued releasing lotto draw results as posted on their Facebook page. PCSO issued Hexaprime Inc. its authority to operate last October 17.

Then on January 20, police officers from the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) Station 4 acted on the complaint of a Hexaprime Inc. representative and arrested a teller manning a Diamond Millennium Corporation outlet along V. Neri street in barangay Carmen for allegedly mounting an illegal gambling operation.

Seized from the suspect were a P1,400 worth of bet money, a receipt bearing the name of Diamond Millennium Corporation and six pieces journal, among others. The identity of the arrested person is being withheld by this paper at this time in compliance of Republic Act No. 10173, otherwise known as the Data Privacy Act.

Following the arrest, Mordeno immediately condemned the actions of the police officers.

“With the issuance of the status quo ante order by the Supreme Court, the status of DMC as a legitimate authorized agent corporation to operate STL in Cagayan de Oro City and Misamis Oriental was already restored effective January 8, 2024,” he said.

“We therefore extol restraint and discernment on the part of the police. It is not for the police to decide whose STL operations is legal. It is for the courts to determine,” Mordeno added.

Messages were already fielded to Cocpo spokesperson P/Maj. Evan Viñas and Hexaprime Inc. counsel Delbert John Barsaga for comment on the matter but they were not yet returned as of press time.

Meanwhile in her reply, PCSO general manager Melquiades Robles opined that the status quo ante order does not provide for the continuation of small town lottery operations by Diamond Millennium Corporation since PCSO has already filed before the Supreme Court a motion for clarification regarding the said order.

According to Melquiades, the PCSO wants to be clarified since it has already entered an agreement with Hexaprime Inc. as its exclusive STL operator in Cagayan de Oro City and Misamis Oriental prior to the issuance of the status quo ante order.



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