Watchdog questions PCSO chief Maliksi’s P2.1M aid to ‘agent’
MANILA, Philippines — An anti-corruption watchdog assailed Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chair Erineo “Ayong” Maliksi on Wednesday, for allegedly facilitating the release of P2.1 million in financial aid for his driver in 2015.
Jennifer Castro, president of the Filipino Alliance for Transparency and Empowerment (Fate), said Maliksi had approved the medical assistance, which the PCSO granted to a certain Celestino Aman.
“It’s OK to help, but it would be better if more would benefit for the funds intended to help the poor,” Castro said in a statement.
But Maliksi vehemently denied the allegations which, he said, were part of a “demolition job” mounted against him by illegal gambling syndicates who were affected by the reforms he had initiated in the PCSO.
He also maintained that Aman never worked for him as a driver, but admitted that he had hired him as a “confidential agent” of the state-owned lottery firm until his death sometime in 2015.
“(Aman) needed financial assistance because he was very poor. I only endorsed his request for medical aid, which was approved by the Charity Division of the PCSO,” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer over the phone.
Asked who could be behind the supposed plot to discredit him, Maliksi said: “I have no evidence against them, but I have a strong feeling that this is the handiwork of ‘jueteng’ syndicates.”
Maliksi, a former Cavite governor and congressman, said groups involved in jueteng, an underground lottery game, have been after him since he started a review of the operations of the Small Town Lottery (STL), a two-number lottery similar to jueteng.
“These groups of individuals started attacking me when I looked into the STL operations, which they had been using as front for jueteng,” he said.
A document provided by Castro’s group showed that Aman received a total of P2,151,000 in financial assistance from the PCSO to pay for his hospital bills after undergoing a medical procedure at the Philippine Heart Center (PHC) on Sept. 16, 2015.
On Dec. 9, 2015, Maliksi sent a letter to PHC executive director Manuel Chiaco Jr. asking him to use the P700,000 in unspent pork barrel, which he had allocated to the government hospital when he was still a Cavite representative, to pay for Aman’s remaining hospital bills.
Incumbent Cavite 3rd District Rep. Alex Advincula also signed the letter in support of Maliksi’s request. SFM
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