MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday revealed he tapped gambling operator Charlie “Atong” Ang to clean up the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
“Ito si Atong, I was hearing, tinawag siya, tinawagan ko ‘yan siya. Sinabi ko, “Atong, ikaw ang number one na gambler dito sa Davao. Hawak mo lahat. Huwag tayong magbolahan,” Duterte said before departing for India to attend the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit.
Duterte said he asked Ang to address problems hounding the state charity arm, which conducts lottery and sweepstakes operations to help fund its projects.
The President, however, did not detail what specific instructions he gave Ang.
“Pumunta ka doon sa PCSO, hintuin mo ‘yang lahat ng illegal at tulungan mo ang gobyerno,” he said.
“That was the only reason why I called for Atong Ang. Tell him. Many years ago. I do not want to mention the President. He wanted to set up a Jai Alai in Davao.
“Sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Kaibigan tayo. Huwag mong pilitin ‘yan. Mag-aaway lang tayo. Ayokong makipag-ano sa’yo pero kung pilitin ‘yan na Jai Alai sa Davao talagang magka…’”
Ang recently made the headlines after he PCSO general manager Alexander Balutan, claimed that PCSO board member and former jueteng whistleblower Sandra Cam was plotting to replace him to allow Ang to monopolize small town lottery.
The PCSO is currently embroiled in a controversy after Cam accused Balutan of holding a lavish Christmas party, in violation of the President’s order for official to ease up on spending.