Duterte to Sandra Cam: Stop fighting PCSO GM Balutan
It was during a briefing about restive Mayon Volcano when President Rodrigo Duterte addressed another unstable situation: the infighting among officials of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
In the middle of the January 29 briefing on security and the status of Albay evacuees, Duterte told PCSO board member Sandra Cam to “stop fighting” PCSO general manager Alexander Balutan.
“Sandra, kaibiganin mo na ‘yan si Balutan. Huwag mo na awayin (Be friends with Balutan. Don’t fight him),” said the President.
Cam was present at the briefing to turn over P5 million in financial assistance to Albay from PCSO.
The President wanted PCSO to give even more financial assistance for Albay. For this to happen, he said, Cam must work with Balutan. If she can’t stand the guy, Duterte suggested she just coordinate with new PCSO chairman Anselmo Pinili, a retired general like Balutan.
“Tawagan mo lang si – huwag mo siya tingnan sabihin mo lang…Si General Pinili na lang,” said Duterte. (Just call – just don’t look at him – Or just talk to General Pinili.)
While Duterte reminded everyone in the room that he chose retired generals to lead civilian government agencies because he admired their sense of discipline and work ethic, he balked from Cam’s handing him a giant check to give to the Albay government.
The use of such props, he said, is not his style as it comes across as overtly political.
“Do not do it in my time. Nako-cornihan ako diyan. Namulitika diyan, pera naman nila ‘yan, pera ni Balutan,” said Duterte. (I find it corny. You’re politicizing something, but the money comes from them, it’s money from Balutan.)
Malacañang protocol staff who brought the giant check, as well as Cam, could be seen smiling sheepishly after they were turned away.
The rift between Balutan, former PCSO chairman Jose Jorge Corpuz, and Cam came to the fore after Cam publicized the multi-million-peso price tag of the PCSO Christmas Party which outraged netizens.
Balutan and Corpuz had differed in opinion from Cam and her friend, gaming tycoon Atong Ang, about who should be handling the government’s small town lottery operations. – Rappler.com
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