Rep. Arnulfo Teves on Wednesday dared jueteng bagwoman-turned-whistleblower Sandra Cam to resign as director of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) after she accused him of being an operator of the Small Town Lottery (STL) in Negros Oriental.
“I was accused of being an operator. Kung maka-submit si Sandra ng dokumento, mag-re-resign ako sa kongreso next hearing. Pero ‘pag wala s’yang ma-submit, s’ya ang mag-resign as director ng PCSO (If Sandra can submit documents to prove it, I will resign. But if she can’t, she should resigns as PCSO director). Please submit to this committee legal documents that indeed prove that I am an operator of Negros Oriental. Kung nakalagay pangalan ko sa korporasyon, mag-re-resign ako. Pero pag wala, I hope mag-resign kayo (If my name is there, I will resign. But if it is not, you should quit) as director,” Teves said during the continuation of the hearing by the House Committee on Games and Amusements.
The lawmaker threatened to move to cite Cam for contempt if she fails to present evidence to prove her claim that he is an operator.
Cam, without presenting any evidence, accused the lawmaker of running an STL operation.
“Respetado ko kayo dito. I’m not binabastos ang Kongreso [sic]. I just want to tell the good congressman here from Negros Oriental, that he himself is an operator. Isn’t it? You’re an STL operator also,” she said.
Cam said the government is being short-changed of revenues. She cited the STL operations in Pangasinan which should be earning P500 million a month instead of P40 million.
Committee Chairman Rep. Gus Tambunting asked Cam to clarify if the P500 million sales come from Authorized Agent Corporations (AACs) or jueteng.
“Kasi ho ‘pag ganyan argument n’yo, kukuwestyunin ko po ‘yung Golden Go bakit P2-3 million lang ang inyong ni-remit, kaya ka na-terminate tapos P500 million pala ‘yan dapat. Tapos kukwestyunin natin ‘yang si Speed Game, kune-kunektado na po ‘yan. Ano pong basis ng P500 million po natin?” asked Tambunting.
“It’s [from]jueteng,” Cam answered.
Teves reminded the committee that poor people needing medical assistance are pinning their hopes on the
PCSO. So when one AAC is terminated, the government loses income in that province.
“Ang daming kumukontra sa PCSO pero halos lahat doon din humihingi ng tulong. Kaya suggestion ko, ‘yung mga umayaw sa PCSO-STL operations nila, dapat wala ding opisina ang PCSO doon (Many people are against the PCSO but almost everybody seeks help from the agency. I suggest that those who do not want STL in their areas, there should be no PCSO office there.) If you don’t want STL in your area, don’t want lotto in your area, don’t put PCSO in your area. Parang sa akin gan’on para ‘di mapulitika ang PCSO,” Teves said.
The lawmaker suggested giving AACs six months or one to two years to pay their shortfalls in their Presumptive Monthly Retail Receipt (PMRR) targets.
“In time, they will be able to reach their PMRR targets and in that way, may kikitain ang gobyerno, kesa naman sa bumalik sa wala talaga (the government can earn),” he said.
He added that terminating an AAC will create a vacuum for opportunists.
“If you look at history, alam ng PNP [Philippine National Police] ‘yun, nasa record nila ‘yun, halos lahat ng area na walang legit player, there are illegal operators,” Teves said.