PHILIPPINE Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) General Manager Alexander Balutan on Tuesday revealed a supposed plan by former “jueteng” whistleblower Sandra Cam to get the agency’s top post in order to allow her friend, Charlie “Atong” Ang, to take control of the Small Town Lottery (STL) operations nationwide.
Balutan said Cam, a newly appointed board member of the PCSO, is determined to get the top PCSO post to allow the entry of gambling operator Ang to the institution and monopolize STL operations.
“Her ultimate goal is to replace me or the chairman and usher her longtime friend Atong Ang into the PCSO systems to control STL nationwide,” Balutan said.
The PCSO general manager in an interview revealed that Cam and Ang tried but failed to get the approval of the agency for Ang’s STL bid.
Balutan said it was Cam and Ang who requested for a meeting merely a week after he and PCSO Chairman Jose Jorge Corpuz were appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte at the PCSO.
The PCSO general manager said Ang offered P200 million per month to the PCSO if it agreed to allow him to operate STL nationwide.
But he said he rejected the proposal because apart from Ang’s reputation as a gambling lord, the amount was too small compared with the revenue being generated by STL, already at P1.7 billion monthly.
The STL was introduced by the PCSO under Corpuz and Balutan last year to combat
existing illegal numbers games like jueteng in Luzon, masiao and swertres in the Visayas and STL in Mindanao.
“I cannot allow a notorious gambling lord like him (Ang) to meddle into the affairs of PCSO. I told them President Duterte doesn’t like a gambling lord to lord over PCSO’s lottery games,” Balutan added.
Cam had accused Corpuz, Balutan and other members of the board – former Quezon City congressman Jesus Suntay and former Davao City village chief Marlon Balite – of approving a “lavish Christmas party” at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong, supposedly costing P10 million.
Balutan said Cam misinformed the media and the public, as only P6.5 million was spent on the party, which was attended by 1,580 employees and their guests who “deserve” the fellowship after a year of hard work.
The PCSO general manager assured the public that the money spent in the event were all accounted for and was even approved by the Budget department and the PCSO board.
Balutan said Cam was determined to get the PCSO’s top post for her to allow Ang to enter because of the billions of pesos in earnings of the STL.
Corpuz said Cam’s tirades should not overshadow the achievements made by the PCSO, which has benefited millions of Filipinos, especially indigents
The PCSO chairman said the agency’s revenues could reach P51 billion or more this year, higher than the P37 billion recorded in 2016.
Corpuz attributed the increase to the intensified battle against illegal numbers game ordered by the President.
“Sandra Cam wants to destroy in favor of a notorious gambling lord,” he said.
Balutan said he was willing to face any inquiry on the matter to shed light on the issue and at the same time reveal the real intentions of Cam.