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Bring back the Chairman

If President Rodrigo Duterte is to take his anti-illegal gambling campaign to the next level, he should be careful in appointing the successor to resigned chairman of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Jose Jorge Corpuz.
Before the year ended, Sandra Cam, newly-appointed board member of the PCSO, exposed what supposedly, was an “extravagant” Christmas Party of the agency for its employees, costing P6 million of people’s money, which she said, could have been used for other charitable purposes.
Laudable as it is, a closer scrutiny of the expenditure for the PCSO yearend party for its hardworking personnel would actually reveal it was an austere event. With more than 1,500 employees, the cost per head would be a little less than P4,000, way below the cost per head of the party of other government offices, including those of the parties of the lawmakers who are aching to probe on the issue.
And while it could be considered an austere event in the standard of other government offices’ Christmas parties, it is now the subject of a Senate probe as requested by Cam herself.
While the probe has yet to materialize, PCSO general manager Alexander Balutan has taken a defensive position, accusing Cam of allegedly coveting the agency’s chairmanship position, as the reason for her attack on the PCSO’s Christmas Party.
According to Balutan, when he assumed the post as general manager of the PCSO, Cam was among those who paid him a courtesy visit. She, however, was not alone. She brought with her suspected illegal gambling lord, Charlie “Atong” Ang.
Now, what has Atong Ang to do with PCSO affairs?
During the time of the previous administration, Ang had been the subject of numerous newspaper reports, alleging him to be working in collaboration with then PCSO chair Ireneo “Ayong” Maliksi, to supposedly block the expansion of the small town lottery to other provinces particularly in areas where he allegedly operates jueteng.
According to the gaming industry players, Ang allegedly operated jueteng openly in at least eleven provinces in Luzon during the Aquino administration, with the knowledge of the local government units and even the Philippine National Police provincial offices.
One classic case wherein Ang reportedly operated his alleged illegal numbers game was in Pangasinan where even the Pangasinan Provincial Police Office, through Superintendent Ferdinand de Asis, admitted the operation of the Ang-owned Meridien Vista Gaming Corporation of a numbers game.
Meridien only holds a franchise to operate jai-alai fronton and off-fronton betting stations within the Cagayan Freeport Zone, his personnel, with complete Meridien identification cards and betting pads, have been spotted collecting bets for a numbers game whose combinations range from 1-37.
Newspaper reports also stated that Maliksi, allegedly tolerated Ang’s illegal gaming operations, even shielding from legitimate competition as he rejected a proposal to open an STL operation in Pangasinan as it would compete with Ang’s alleged illegal gambling operation.
And Balutan avers that Cam had long been eyeing to be the chair of the PCSO.
Even long before she was appointed to the PCSO, Cam reportedly would brag she would clean the agency. Of what? Aren’t the current PCSO people capable of doing their jobs? Or have they been effective in blocking the supposed operations of Ang’s alleged numbers game?
“Her (Cam’s) ultimate goal is to replace me or the chairman and usher her longtime friend Atong Ang into the PCSO systems to control STL nationwide,” Balutan was quoted saying in newspaper reports.
According to Balutan, Cam even dropped the name of Duterte when she and gambling operator Charlie “Atong” Ang visited the PCSO in 2016 to lobby the agency to allow Ang to operate STL nationwide.
“Cam and Ang even dropped the names of the President and his special assistant, Bong Go, who supposedly sent them to Balutan and Corpuz to discuss how the STL should be operated,” Balutan said.
So, what we have now is on the one hand, is one who claims PCSO is teeming with corrupt and extravagant officials, with the recent agency’s Chirstmas Party as the sole basis, and on the other hand, the newest appointment to the agency who is being accused of allegedly salivating for the highest position to accommodate the alleged illegal gambling activities of her friend.
And both situations don’t do any good for the image of the President.
It is for this reason that he needs to take precautions in appointing the replacement for Corpuz. One, who although has been accused of some illegal acts by the previous administration but has been later absolved, the case brought against him and his colleagues is believed to be a product of the previous administration’s obsession to pin down former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and has come out clean over the years.
One who whose name has been associated wth charity works. One whose name runs synonymous with the PCSO itself. And its no other than the Chairman.
And when one mentions the Chair of the PCSO, no name comes into mind other than Manoling Morato.
So, why not bring back the Chairman?

1 comment

  • Architect Lito L.Mallonga FUAP

    Itong Peta na 4 thousand na peso as bawat usang tao makabibili no no grocery at mapakain ang buong pamilya problema .Ang dahilan masyadong galanten at buwis pa ng taong bayan Ang na dadali at dapat mahihiya na kayo

    Architect Lito L.Mallonga FUAP Friday, 19 January 2018 09:08 Comment Link

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