Ombudsman urged to probe Sandra Cam’s P500-million resort, properties

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 22 2019 06:26 PM | Updated as of Mar 22 2019 08:14 PM

MANILA - A private citizen has requested the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate the properties of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office board member Sandra Cam supposedly worth a total of P500 million.

In a letter filed before the Ombudsman, Lino Espinosa Lim Jr., a resident of Uson, Masbate, sought an investigation into Cam's properties in the province, saying she may have unexplained wealth. 

He said her properties include Zandra’s Beach Resort and Convention Center, two parcels of land, and 5 others. 

Lim said the properties are registered either under the name of Cam or her brother Martin Cam, sister Purisima Martinez or son Marco Cam.

The beach resort belongs to Lim's family, said his lawyer Israelito Torreon, who filed the request.

“She is, thus, harboring unexplained wealth considering the sheer number - and great value - of the real properties that she acquired either in her own name or in other person’s name, the value of which are manifestly out of proportion to her salary as a public official,” Lim said in his request.

Torreon said Lim is "interested because according to him, he is one of the heirs of the owners of this property."

Cam broke into the public scene in 2005 when she alleged that she served as bagwoman for then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's son Juan Miguel Arroyo and brother-in-law, the late Jose Ignacio Arroyo, in receiving payoffs for the operation of illegal numbers game jueteng. 

In 2016, she ran for the Senate but failed in her bid. A few months after her loss, she appeared in the Senate and testified against Sen. Leila de Lima, tagging her in the drug trade. 

De Lima has been detained since February 2017 on drug allegations she has decried as political persecution. 

In December 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Cam to the PCSO. Just weeks later, she sought a Senate inquiry into the allegedly lavish Christmas party held by the agency, pinning the then chief, Alexander Balutan. De Lima then sought an investigation into infighting within the PCSO. 

Earlier this month, Balutan was fired over "serious allegations of corruption."