Ex-PCSO GM Balutan belies Lacson’s claims: ‘Why pick on generals only?’
MANILA, Philippines — Why pick on generals only?
Former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) general manager retired General Alexander Balutan said this Thursday as he denied the claims of Senator Panfilo Lacson that there was a rise in the number of retired military and police officers with Small Town Lottery (STL) franchises during his stint in the agency.
“Hindi naman totoo yung— lahat naman diyan nag-apply. Porke ba general ay hindi na pwede? There are 85 na in-award [na franchise]… Wala pang lima yung general na hindi naman siya ang owner kasi malaki yung bond,” Balutan said in a phone interview with INQUIRER.net.
Balutan said in some instances, retired military and police officers are merely incorporators who only provide shares.
“Ang pension lang naman nyan kakaunti, siguro incorporator lang. Nagshshare lang sila pero wag masama in na ganun, parke general— may engineers nga, may former congressman and politicians, attorney— anong masama dun?” Balutan said.
In a separate text message, Balutan also posed a question: “Why pick on generals only?”
Non-payment of shares resulted in termination
Lacson also said that the retired police and military officers with STL franchises allegedly did not remit shares from their collections to the PCSO.
“Other information would indicate na mga retired police and military officers ang nakakakuha ng franchise. Nakapangalan lang sa mga dummies pero sila ‘yung behind,” Lacson said.
Balutan, however, said that in these cases, their franchise was immediately terminated.
“Kapag hindi makapagbayad ng kanilang…mismong ako nagte-terminate. Kami ang nagte-terminate,” Balutan said during the phone interview.
Despite this, Balutan said that the owners of the franchise sought help from the court which then filed temporary restraining orders (TROs) delaying the effectivity of the termination.
“Terminated sila kaso they sought relief from the court tapos ang court naman magi-issue ng…mamera kasi ang TRO at injunction— so anong nagagawa namin? Will the board and I defy the Court? Anong gagawin namin? Syempre you will follow,” Balutan said.
The former PCSO general manager then alleged corruption in the issuance of the TROs.
“Doon nagkakaroon ng corruption kasi mamera nga yung TRO at injunction so patuloy silang nano-operate kahit ang decision namin ay terminated kasi I have to follow the follow, I have to follow the court order,” Balutan said.
Balutan also denied having a hand in the alleged missing revenues in the PCSO.
“Yung sinasabi nilang utang-utang na yan, yung sinasabi nilang nawawala sa kaban ng bayan, pero papel lang yan. Wala naman kamin binubulsa diyan e,” Balutan said.
“Pano kami magbubulsa e bank to bank yan? Wala naman kaming nahahawakang pera diyan,” he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered all gaming activities of PCSO, including lotto and STL, to be stopped.
The suspension for lotto operations were lifted days after.
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