Sunday, May 26, 2019

Domondon: Leave while you still can

Open Season

MALACAÑANG recently committed another booboo when it previously announced that President Rodrigo Duterte has sacked Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) general manager Alexander Balutan due to serious corruption issues only to backtrack the next day and clarified that the former marine general actually tendered his resignation through a letter submitted to the Palace.

Balutan, for his part, explained that his resignation has to do with something that he can no longer stomach while in office, adding that before his decision, he received information that there are “powerful personalities” moving for his removal.

Now how powerful really are these personalities who would want to oust Balutan as the PSCO general manager?

The answer is, they are so influential that they can deceive Malacañang into announcing that Balutan was removed by the President when the truth, as later on admitted by the Palace, is that the former general actually resigned from office.

There is a sea of difference between having resigned from office and being removed from office. The former act is a unilateral and voluntary act on the part of the one who resigned while the latter is an act by a third party, usually the appointing authority, done to the one who is ousted from office for a number of reason/s.

The more relevant question is why did Balutan resign? Being a former marine general, we would think that he is all gung-ho and aggressive enough to run roughshod over anybody who would attempt to corrupt the PCSO institution. However, his quiet move to get out speaks volumes about how things have turned very nasty within a government agency whose mission is primarily “for raising and providing funds for health programs, medical assistance and services, and charities of national character.”

Perhaps this government agency has already turned black with corruption that even a marine warrior such Balutan is no match to those who have subverted the mission and vision of the PCSO to their own evil vested interests.

Perhaps this is also why the former PSCO general manager has requested the President for an impartial investigation to ferret out the truth regarding allegations of corruption in the said office.

Form an objective standpoint and as a suggestion perhaps the President can look into the manner in which franchises for the Small Town Lottery (STL), the alternative numbers game supposed to replace the illegal numbers game “Jueteng”, are being issued to those wanting to operate it as well as the bonafides of the applicant operators.

The STL numbers game and the issuance of franchises for its’ operation is perhaps the real reason behind why there is now that foul stench of corruption within the PCSO that even a former marine general has to abruptly terminate his appointment if only to avoid succumbing to temptation.

Balutan may have finally realized that deep-seated corruption has already festered within the PCSO institution and the only option left to him is to leave while he can and while still in complete possession of his integrity and honesty. Let us hope that the subsequent investigation will not only clear his name but confirm his suspicion that there are some powerful people really out to get him.


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