Ombudsman asked to probe Sandra Cam’s undeclared properties

By Czarina Nicole Ong Ki

The Office of the Ombudsman is being urged to look into the undeclared properties of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board member Sandra Cam in her statement of assets liabilities and net worth (SALN) for the years 2017 and 2018.

Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board member Sandra Cam (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board member Sandra Cam (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

A certain Lino Espinosa Lim Jr. filed a letter before the Office of the Ombudsman Friday morning, claiming that Cam has hidden several properties through her sister’s name, Purisima Martinez, brother Martin Cam, and son Marco Martinez Cam. Some have not been transferred to her name yet, such as the resort named under Laureano Vicente.

Not only are these undeclared properties being questioned, but also Cam’s source of income for the purchase of the properties.

“She likewise acquired these properties amazingly in so short a time though she makes it appear that she acquired these prior to her entry in government office,” the letter stated.

“The truth, however, is if there is an honest-to-goodness investigation that will be conducted, it would be found out that these properties were acquired only recently,” it added.

Lim Jr. stated that the sheer number and great value of these real properties are manifestly disproportionate to her salary as a public official.

Zandra’s Beach Resort and Convention Center was opened last May 2018, and it is located at Brgy. Pinamoghaan in San Fernando, Masbate. Lim Jr. said that Cam should explain how she was able to finance the construction of this resort in such a short time span with a value of approximately P100 million.

Other properties mentioned in the letter are parcels of cocoland consisting of an area of .8763 hectares and 5.7203, both also located at Brgy. Pinamoghaan. Cam’s acquisition of these properties was affirmed by Tito M. Corres, caretaker of the Marcaida family.

Lastly, Cam also owns two parcels of land in Brgy. Matabao, Butuan, Masbate amounting to P300 million. One consists of an area of 4.0454 hectares and another is 3.3370 hectares.

For these two properties, Cam reportedly used her influence as a government official by using the police authorities in Region V to summarily evict the tenants.

Because of this “willful omission” to declare properties, Lim Jr. wants Cam to be charged for violation of Section 7 of R.A. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Section 8 of R.A. 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

“The increase in the net worth could not be explained by her salary alone and hence should be treated as unexplained wealth,” the letter read. “After the conduct of an investigation on the matter, if it would be found out that the properties were ill-gotten, then the necessary proceedings should be initiated in order to seize and sequester the properties.”