Palace: 'PCSO Alexander Balutan was not fired, but resigned'
Last Friday, Balutan’s spokesman Florante Solmerin said Balutan had opted to resign “for personal reasons.” Hours later, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo announced that President Duterte had fired Balutan for “corruption” but did not elaborate.
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Palace: 'PCSO Alexander Balutan was not fired, but resigned'
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - March 12, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) general manager Alexander Balutan was not fired but he resigned from his post because of corruption issues hounding his agency, Malacañang clarified yesterday.

Last Friday, Balutan’s spokesman Florante Solmerin said Balutan had opted to resign “for personal reasons.” Hours later, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo announced that President Duterte had fired Balutan for “corruption” but did not elaborate.

Panelo evaded questions about Balutan during his press briefing yesterday morning, saying he would issue a statement within the day.

Minutes before 6 p.m., the spokesman corrected his previous statement, saying Balutan indeed resigned from his  post.

“We wish to clarify that former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office general manager Alexander Balutan has indeed tendered his resignation through a letter submitted to the Office of the President,” Panelo said in a statement.

“Mr. Balutan resigned out of delicadeza because of, as we have said, serious allegations of corruption in the PCSO,” he added.

Panelo said Balutan’s letter was formally received by the Office of the President “only after the Palace has already announced his cessation from office.”

“(Balutan) has requested the President for a fair and impartial investigation to ferret out the truth on the matter,” Panelo added.

Reports published before Panelo issued the clarification claimed the shortfall in the targeted income of the PCSO might have cost Balutan his post.

Balutan, a retired military general, has claimed he stepped down from his post because he was asked to do something he “could not stomach” but did not provide specifics.

Business as usual

Meanwhile, it was business as usual at the PCSO yesterday despite the unceremonious ouster of its top executive.

PCSO insiders said that PCSO chairman Anselmo Simeon Pinili yesterday assumed the vacated post of Balutan.

“That’s automatic as per the PCSO charter,” a PCSO executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The STAR, referring to the PCSO chairman taking over the general manager’s post in case of a vacancy.

It was learned that Pinili attended the Monday morning flag-raising ceremony at the PCSO head office in Mandaluyong City.

The source said Pinili did not address the sudden departure of Balutan in his speech before the gathered PCSO workforce.  – With Rainier Allan Ronda

ALEXANDER BALUTAN PHILIPPINE CHARITY SWEEPSTAKES OFFICE
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