Officials of the National Bureau of Investigations and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) have been criticised for the illegal shuttering of five online gambling operations run by Globaltech Mobile Online Corporation in Quezon City that saw the arrest of 15 individuals last month.
In reviewing the case, the Department of Justice concluded that before moving against Globaltech officials should have more diligently investigated; had they done so they would have found that a court order barring the state gaming regulator from shutting down the company’s operations was still in force.
The court order was issued by the Pasig City Regional Trial Court Branch 161 which temporarily stayed the PCSO decision revoking Globaltech’s licence for its alleged failure to remit about P100 million in government shares from its gaming operations in 2016.
“It is without a doubt that at the time of the implementation of the search warrant in the subject premises of Globaltech, its operation of the numbers game… is still duly covered by a valid and subsisting authority/license from PCSO,” the DOJ panel said in its December 3 review.
The NBI and PCSO carried out the raid following a complaint by one Marcelo Flores, vice president of Great Platinum Gaming Online.
The high level DoJ panel of prosecutors said the evidence presented by NBI and PCSO was “not sufficient to establish a valid warrantless arrest.”
“The NBI operatives’ reliance on the documents submitted by PCSO and a letter from Flores is misplaced considering that the same are not verified, hearsay, self-serving and full of partiality,” the state prosecutors said.
They also noted that PCSO had even petitioned the Court of Appeals to void the order issued by the Pasig court in favor of Globaltech.