MANILA – House Minority Leader Marcelino Libanan on Tuesday filed a resolution directing the House Committee on Games and Amusements to set an inquiry into the controversial grand lotto draw that saw “an extremely rare outcome” wherein more than 400 bettors won and shared the PHP236-million jackpot prize.

“There is a need for Congress to protect and ensure the integrity of the lotto draws that contribute in a big way to government coffers and help finance public health programs, as well as medical assistance and services to indigents, among other charities,” the 4Ps Partylist Representative said in filing House Resolution No. 463.

Besides generating government revenues, he said lotto draws conducted by state-run Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) provide economic and employment opportunities to small lotto agents, tellers and terminal technicians, among others.

But other than protecting the integrity of lotto operations, HR 463 also cited the need to protect the betting public who have bought PHP25.92 billion worth of lotto tickets from January to June this year up 32.15 percent compared to sales in the same six-month period in 2021.

“We also have to safeguard the hopes and dreams of millions of Filipinos that patronize the lotto draws every day. The highly unusual result has triggered widespread social and traditional media discussion on whether fraud had attended the draw,” Libanan said.

In Saturday’s 6/55 draw, a total of 433 individuals wagered on the same winning combination -- 09-45-36-27-18-54 -- numbers that are all divisible by 9.

They shared the jackpot prize to the tune of around PHP545,000 each, excluding tax deductions.

The PCSO has earlier assured the public that it’s the lotto draws are being conducted in accordance with the highest standards of transparency, honesty and fairness.

"PCSO assures every Filipino whether you are playing lotto or not that the conduct and result of every draw is very transparent and of utmost integrity," PCSO general manager Mel Robles said in a statement. (PNA)