PCSO chief’s driver deserves P2-M aid, says lawmaker
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - January 19, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III took up the cudgels yesterday for the driver of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chief Erineo Maliksi who allegedly received P2 million in medical assistance from the agency.

Like other poor patients, Albano said Celestino Ama deserved the assistance as he was suffering from a heart ailment.

Ama has been hospitalized at the Philippine Heart Center.

“Ama did not lose the right to get medical assistance from the charity agency just because he drives for the PCSO chairman. Even the driver of the President, Senate President or any government official, if he is a qualified indigent patient who has no means to pay for medical expenses, should be helped,” Albano said.

“Maliksi’s driver obviously does not live a comfortable life as his boss and so he ran to the PCSO for help. I believe the PCSO will help other patients who are in the same situation as Ama’s,” he said.

Albano said what would be questionable for the PCSO is to help someone who has the means to pay for his medicine and hospitalization.

A group calling itself Filipino Alliance for Transparency and Empowerment exposed the huge amount of financial assistance the PCSO allegedly gave Ama.

The group claimed that a doctor from the Philippine Heart Center informed them of the hospitalization of Maliksi’s driver and the amount of money he received from the PCSO.

The games and amusement committee of the House of Representatives is investigating alleged irregularities in the PCSO, including those related to the use of its charity funds.

The House panel, chaired by Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr., is conducting another hearing today.

Barzaga earlier told reporters that he received information that members of the PCSO board have been giving financial aid of at least P200,000 to their rich relatives and friends who get sick.

He said several of these beneficiaries had been confined at an expensive private hospital in Quezon City.

Maliksi and some members of the PCSO board are bickering over the small-town lottery or STL project of the agency.

He wants the PCSO to run the STL operations, while board members are for the status quo with franchisees who are mostly jueteng operators.

ACIRC ALBANO CAVITE REP CELESTINO AMA ELPIDIO BARZAGA JR. ERINEO MALIKSI FILIPINO ALLIANCE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES MALIKSI PCSO PHILIPPINE HEART CENTER
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