MANILA

Palace: Sandra Cam's fate up to Ombudsman

MALACAÑANG on Monday, March 25, distanced itself from the allegation that Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board member Sandra Cam has amassed more than P500 million in unexplained wealth.

Speaking to Palace reporters, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Palace would let the Office of the Ombudsman investigate Cam's supposedly hidden wealth.

Panelo added that the executive has no plan of conducting a separate investigation against the PCSO board member.

"From what I understand, somebody has already filed a case in the Ombudsman. So that's the Ombudsman call now," the Palace official said in a press conference.

"It's being investigated. We will not be duplicating any investigation, considering the fact that there is no more pending case with the Ombudsman," he added.

In a complaint filed before the Ombudsman's office on March 22, a certain Lino Espinosa Lim Jr. claimed that Cam has concealed her ownership of several properties in Masbate province by registering them under the names of her sister Purisima Martinez, brother Martin Cam, and son Marco Cam.

Lim claimed Cam's undeclared properties include Zandra's Beach Resort and Convention Center in San Fernando, Masbate, two parcels of land in Ticao Island in San Fernando town, and five parcels of land on Matabao Island in Bautan town.

Lim questioned Cam's capability to finance the construction of the beach resort, which was opened in May 2018, in such a short time span with a value of approximately P100 million.

Cam surfaced in 2005 as a whistleblower after revealing that she served as bagwoman for former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's son, Juan Miguel Arroyo, and brother-in-law, the late Jose Ignacio Arroyo, in receiving payoffs for the operations of illegal numbers game jueteng.

In 2016, Cam also appeared at a Senate inquiry to testify against detained Senator Leila de Lima, tagging the lawmakers in the illegal drug trade.

Cam was then appointed by Duterte to the PCSO in December 2017.

On Sunday, March 25, De Lima challenged Duterte to fire Cam over the PCSO official's "unexplained wealth."

Panelo said Cam's fate would depend on the results of the Ombudsman's investigation.

"Since it's already with the Ombudsman, and the Ombudsman has the power to suspend, I think we'll let it do the process," he said. (SunStar Philippines)


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