MANILA - Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office board member Sandra Cam confirmed Monday that she owns several properties in her home province of Masbate, including a resort for manta ray diving, but denied that her assets are worth half a billion pesos.
Cam, a former jueteng whistle-blower, said the resort in Barangay Pinamoghaan in San Fernando, Masbate is under her name but was not included in her latest statement of assets, liabilities and net worth since it was still under construction.
She said the land used for the resort as well as 2 schools she built are in her SALN.
"The resort is under my name. I bought the property [in] 1997.
Vicente Laureano is the main owner at ako ang bumili diyan 1997 pa po nung ako'y dalaga pa," she told radio DZMM.
"I cannot put it in my SALN dahil hindi naman nakapangalan sa akin, hindi naman ako naglagay ng malaking pera diyan...Ilalagay na po ngayon kasi kabubukas lang. Mali na May 2018 in-open."
A private citizen, Lino Espinosa Lim Jr. of Masbate, earlier requested the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate Cam's properties supposedly worth a total of P500 million.
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.
In the interview, Cam denied Lim's allegations, including her alleged ownership of 2 parcels of land in Barangay Matabao in Batuan, Masbate allegedly worth P300 million.
"Oh my God! OMG. You go around the province of Masbate, wala pong lupa na [worth] ganyan. Masyado siyang nananaginip sa kanyang mga alegasyon...Saan ka naman makahanap ng lupa sa Masbate na worth P500 million," she told radio DZMM.
She also denied allegations that she used her authority as a government official to remove tenants from the land.
"Wala akong tenants na tinanggal. The tenants are still there but the place, isa sa mga investors, sinabi wag nang pataniman. I told the people - people of my political opponent - kung pwede wag na kayong magtanim," she said.
Cam, in turn, said Lim is not credible because he allegedly has several pending cases, including estafa and carjacking. "Ang credibility niyan is zero. His allegation remains an allegation and has no probative value," she said.
She also claimed that the allegations against her were the handiwork of those disgruntled by her accusations of corruption in small town lottery operations.
She said she also owns 2 parcels of cocoland, but these are not worth millions as alleged by Lim.
"I'm very willing to be investigated... I will never steal even a single penny from the government coffer," she said.
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.
In December 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Cam to the PCSO.