Duterte clears Alexander Balutan in 5-star PCSO party
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - February 13, 2018 - 12:01am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte does not see any problem with the P6-million Christmas party thrown by Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) general manager Alexander Balutan, saying the activity is acceptable as long as the public benefits from the government’s money. 

“He was accused of spending millions. That’s nothing to me as long as the money reaches the people,” Duterte said during a visit to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City yesterday.

“Maybe they thought it was just one office. There are casinos everywhere, even in Davao,” he added. 

Balutan has been accused by PCSO board member Sandra Cam of spending P10 million for a Christmas party in a five-star hotel. Balutan, a former military official, denied that the party was lavish, saying the budget for the event was just P6 million.

He also justified the holding of the party, saying the more than 1,500 employees of PCSO deserved it for raising the earnings of the agency. 

Balutan claimed that Cam was just sowing intrigue so that her friend, businessman Charlie “Atong” Ang, could control small town lottery operations. Ang has denied this and maintained that he does not meddle with the operations of the PCSO. 

Last January, Duterte asked Cam to befriend Balutan so that the communities affected by the Mayon Volcano eruption would get more assistance from the PCSO. 

Duterte has also praised Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. chair and chief executive officer Andrea Domingo for being honest and competent.

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