THE Court of Appeals (CA) has ordered a provincial distributor of lottery tickets in Isabela to pay Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) more than P1 million representing unpaid tickets in the 1990s.
In a February 11, 2015 decision penned by Associate Justice Fernanda Lampas Peralta and concurred in by Associate Justices Stephen Cruz and Ramon Paul Hernando, the CA’s 7th Division reversed and set aside the trial court’s decision dated April 25, 2012 as it ordered Clarita Ciscar “to pay [PCSO] the sum of P1,178,214.81 plus interest at the rate of twelve percent (12 percent) per annum from date of default until full payment.”
Ciscar entered into a contract with PCSO for Provincial Distributor, whereby the former was appointed as distributor/reseller in Santiago, Isabela, of the latter’s lottery tickets.
As security for payment of the lottery tickets, Ciscar posted surety bonds worth about P200,000 issued by BF General Insurance Company Inc and Imperial Insurance.
Later, the PCSO called on the surety bond issued by Imperial as well as BF Insurance’s, and demanded the amount of P199,830.40 for failing to pay their lottery tickets.
The demand was ignored, however, until the case reached the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 97, of Quezon City.
The RTC dismissed the complaint for sum of money against Ciscar for PCSO’s failure to prove its case by a preponderance of evidence, prompting the state lottery agency to elevate the matter to the appellate court.
In its 28-page ruling, the CA held that Ciscar is liable to PCSO for the amount for her failure to pay her lottery tickets as of April 30, 1996.
“The Contract for Provincial Distributor expressly stipulated the payment of interest of twelve percent (12 percent) per annum, to be reckoned from date of default until full payment in case all ticket of the distributor with PCSO not paid within ten (10) days after the date/d of draw.”
“Since [Ciscar] freely entered into the contract, the stipulations in the contract are binding on her.”