Cam fires back after ‘loose cannon’ tag
Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) - December 24, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — Former jueteng whistleblower and now Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office board director Sandra Cam said PCSO general manager Alexander Balutan was diverting from the issue when he called her a “loose cannon” and raised her friendship with gaming businessman and consultant Charlie Ang.

“The issue here is the PCSO’s excessive and lavish Christmas party,” Cam told The STAR in a phone interview.

“How (am I a loose cannon)? A loose cannon to whom?” Cam said.

Balutan has defended the agency’s controversial Christmas party at the Shangri-La as “not grandiose, lavish.”

He added that contrary to Cam’s claim that the PCSO spent P10 million for the celebration, the agency’s budget for the event was only P6 million.

Meanwhile, Cam did not deny her friendship with Ang, adding that even President Duterte had said he knew Ang and consulted the latter on the problem of jueteng.

“It’s true, he is a friend, since (president) Erap’s time even though at that time he was jailed in Las Vegas. What’s wrong with being a friend of somebody?” Cam said.

Cam defended Ang, saying he is not an operator of the PCSO’s Small Town Lottery (STL) games in the provinces which she has also criticized.

“Atong Ang has never been an STL operator. He has nothing to do with the PCSO games,” Cam said.

She added that, as far as she knew, Ang is now busy as a consultant to some of the biggest casinos in the country.

Cam was reacting to a press statement where Balutan accused her of wreaking havoc in the PCSO for exposing the charity organization’s multimillion-peso Christmas party.

She had exposed that of the P10.18 million Christmas party budget, P3.3 million was for the food, venue, and physical arrangement at the Shangri-La. 

Balutan defended the PCSO’s celebration, saying the employees “deserved” the Christmas party after a hard year’s work.

He cited the huge increase generated in revenues brought by STL operations of the PCSO.

The PCSO rented two ballrooms for its personnel who won cash prizes of P3,000, P5,000, P10,000 and one major cash prize of P20,000.

As much as P200,000 was given as prize in a song and dance contest.

“We’ve suffered so many calamities recently. There’s the Marawi humanitarian crisis. So many poor people need charity assistance. Why does the PCSO have to hold a Christmas party in an expensive hotel?” Cam said.

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