Senator Leila de Lima is seeking a legislative probe on the internal squabbles among officials of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), saying the agency should be “shielded from improper influence and interference of personalities with vested interests and dubious reputations.”
De Lima filed on Monday Senate Resolution No. 578 directing the appropriate committee to conduct an inquiry to ensure that the “status and position as public officers and government employees are not being misused or abused for personal gain” by PCSO officials.
The probe sought by De Lima arises from the squabble between PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan and board member and former whistleblower Sandra Cam.
Cam earlier criticized the PCSO for supposedly spending P10 million for its Christmas party at a five-star hotel. Balutan refuted the claim of Cam that the party was lavish, saying only P6 million was spent for the party where 1,500 employees from across the country were in attendance.
Citing a newspaper report, De Lima pointed out that Balutan claimed that Cam is making false accusations targeting PCSO officials to “get the agency’s top post” and help her friend, known gambling lord Charlie “Atong” Ang, to monopolize Small Town Lottery (STL) operations nationwide.
“Dapat talagang imbestigahan yung sinasabi ni Sandra Cam na diumano’y ‘lavish’ o magarang Christmas Party ng PCSO. Pero, dapat rin imbestigahan yung akusasyon ng kabilang panig,” De Lima said.
“Napakahalaga ng mandato ng PCSO dahil nakakatulong ito sa mga proyekto para sa mga mahihirap. So hindi puwedeng nahahaluan ang mga gawain nito o nasisira ang mga operasyon nito dahil sa pakikialam ng mga personalidad na may kahinahinalang karakter at hindi mapagkakatiwalaan,” De Lima added, while calling Cam a “shady character.”
On Tuesday, Cam filed a criminal complaint against Balutan due to alleged threats she has been receiving following her disclosure of the supposed irregularities in the agency. —ALG, GMA News