Palace backtracks, says Balutan resigned

Published March 11, 2019, 7:38 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By ARGYLL CYRUS B. GEDUCOS

Malacañang has clarified that former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) General Manager Alexander Balutan resigned from his post and was not fired by President Duterte contrary to their earlier statement.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo
(OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement after Balutan said in a radio interview that Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea told him that there are people who wanted him out of his position in the PCSO.

In his statement Monday evening, Panelo said that Balutan’s resignation letter was received by the Office of the President (OP) after the Palace confirmed that he is no longer heading the PCSO.

“We wish to clarify that former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) General Manager Alexander Balutan has indeed tendered his resignation through a letter submitted to the Office of the President,” Panelo said.

“The said written communication was, however, formally received by the OP only after the Palace has already announced his cessation from office,” he added.

Panelo then said that Balutan resigned because of allegations of corruptions in the PCSO.

“Mr. Balutan resigned out of delicadeza because of, as we have said, serious allegations of corruption in the PCSO,” he said.

“He has requested the President for a fair and impartial investigation to ferret out the truth on the matter,” he added.

In an interview with ABS-CBN over the weekend, Balutan said that he received a phone call from Medialdea telling him that “some people” wanted him out.

Balutan declined to give details but indicated that it had something to do with small town lottery (STL). The Senate conducted an inquiry on alleged corruption relating to PCSO’s STL operations in January 2018 after an internal squabble in the agency.

In the interview, Balutan said he was “begging” for an investigation of corruption allegations against him as he sought to clear his name.

The former Marine General earlier said that he would resign from his post if he receives an order that he cannot fathom.

“I told all PCSO employees when I assumed as GM in 2016 that if somebody from the OP/Congress ask/order me to do something which I cannot stomach… I will resign,” Balutan said.

 
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