PCSO chair tells Sandra Cam: Don't bite the hand that feeds you

Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 18 2017 04:50 PM | Updated as of Dec 18 2017 05:24 PM

MANILA - Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office General-Manager Alexander Balutan on Monday reacted to newly appointed board member Sandra Cam's vow to clean up their agency. 

Last week, Cam who was known as a "jueteng" whistle-blower, told reporters that she would clean up PCSO, days after her appointment as a board member of the agency. She said at least 70 of 84 authorized agent corporations were using Small Town Lottery (STL) as a front to the illegal number games.

"Sabi ko nga 'do not bite the hands that feeds you'. Ibig sabihin sa board, as board member, policy-making siya and as far as operation is concerned, ako yun, yung General-Manager and CEO of PCSO" said Balutan, a former General of the Philippine Marine Corps.

Balutan is not a newcomer in the field of cleaning up the bureaucracy, as he has already faced a Senate inquiry in 2005 related to the 'Hello Garci scandal.' He was then a lieutenant colonel in the Marines who was dragged to the court martial, for refusing to heed orders not to testify about election fraud in Lanao del Sur.

"Lahat ng mabuo na policy ng board, na mapagkasunduan ng board thru board resolution, I will be the one who will implement that nationwide. So may limitation kami, hanggang policy-making siya," Balutan told reporters.

He clarified, however, that as long as the plans and aspirations of Cam is coordinated with the PCSO board, he does not see any problem with their working relationship. 

Balutan spoke to reporters Monday morning after a signing of Memorandum of Agreement of the PCSO with the Armed Forces of the Philippines held at the headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo.

Cam was invited to the event but did not attend.

"The last coordination we had, nung nasa board meeting kami, meron ngang ganitong activity and we invited all the members of the board to be here. Hindi siguro siya nakarating, si Atty. Bong Suntay lang nakarating and of course, my staff," said Balutan.

The PCSO entered into an agreement with the AFP to finance the purchase of medical equipment of various military hospitals, namely: Air Force General Hospital, Air Force City Hospital. Basa Air Base Hospital, Army General Hospital, Kuta Major Cesar L. Sang-on Station Hospital, Camp General Mateo Capinpin Army Station Hospital, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo Station Hospital and Presidential Security Group Station Hospital. The finance amounts to P102 million for the AFP and P21 million for the Philippine National Police.

Balutan told the military leaders that PCSO board has also decided that beginning this year, their agency will finance the purchase of equipment of military hospitals, annually.

PCSO is also looking at sending aid to areas ravaged by tropical depression Urduja. Balutan said they are awaiting reports that will serve as basis for their actions.