PNP detains 2 PCSO employees; paralyses medical assistance in Camarines Sur

The daily processing of financial assistance to medical patients especially to indigents has been paralyzed following the arbitrary arrest and detention of two organic personnel of the branch of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) based in Pili, Camarines Sur, General Manager Alexander Balutan said on Friday.

“Two of our key personnel in our branch who sign important documents in the daily processing of financial assistance to indigents were in detention after the local police arrested them during an illegal raid Thursday against our draw court of the Small Town Lottery (STL). I am appealing to the police to release our personnel,” Balutan said.

Balutan said PCSO is verifying reports that the police raid was prompted by an interview by a local radio station in Naga City with PCSO Director Sandra Cam about the termination of the authority of the Evenchance Gaming Corporation to play the STL in the province for various violations against the STL Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).

He said he ordered a thorough investigation into the incident.

Balutan said PCSO-Camarines Sur branch has a daily medical allocation of P400,000 under its flagship project Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP).

“The branch is averaging at least 22 clients most of them indigents in a daily basis seeking financial and medical assistance. Today and maybe the coming days our daily processing of financial assistance there in the branch is temporarily stopped until our personnel are released from jail,” he said.

In the province alone, PCSO had donated 34 ambulances to different local government units.

In a letter dated February 5, 2018, the PCSO board resolved to terminate and cancel the authorization of Evenchance to play the STL pursuant to Board Resolution No. 0024 series of 2018.

The letter indicated that PCSO sought the assistance of the PNP to conduct an investigation in relation to the allegations of Representative Luis Raymund Villafuerte against Evenchance.

The violations include accepting bets from minors, non-wearing of STL uniform and identification cards, and using tickets not prescribed by the PCSO. It also failed to reach the presumptive monthly retail receipt (PMRR) that it has committed in its application.

But Balutan stressed that given the termination letter, Evenchance was given five calendar days upon receipt of the letter to file for a motion for reconsideration, but still the police raided the STL draw of Evenchance.

Under the STL-IRR, PCSO branch offices shall supervise STL operations and ensure compliance of the IRR, especially the conduct of STL draws.

“Apart from disrespecting the five-day grace period to file for a motion for reconsideration, the action made by the police is reckless and has caused the disruption of our daily operation in the province,” Balutan lamented.

“Kami po ay taus-pusong humihingi ng paumanhin sa mga mamamayan ng Camarines Sur lalo na ang mga pumipilang may sakit o kaanak na may sakit na nangangailangan ng agarang ayuda na kailangan nilang gamot at ospitalisasyon bunsod ng hindi katanggap-tanggap na naging aksyon ng ating kapulisan laban sa ating mga tauhan sa branch office,” he added.

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