Palace accepts Balutan’s dare

Malacañang on Tuesday accepted the challenge of former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office general manager Alexander Balutan to conduct a “full and impartial” probe on the corruption charges against him

The palace made the decision after Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo issued a clarification on Monday night that Balutan had stepped down and was not terminated by President Rodrigo Duterte.  

In the House, the chairman of the committee on games and amusement said Tuesday Balutan’s resignation was a step toward implementing reforms in the agency.

“Whether he [Balutan] resigned, was asked to resign or was fired, right now I think this is one step forward in trying to [fix] the PCSO of its problems in management,” Parañaque City Rep. Gus Tambunting told reporters.

Panelo said he and Balutan met on Tuesday to talk when Balutan handed him his letter of resignation. 

“Well, of course, he was defending himself,” Panelo told reporters. 

“He said he really wants an investigation and I told him I will write a memo to the President and request the President to grant your request for an investigation. He’s okay with it.” 

Panelo said Balutan resigned “out of delicadeza because of the serious allegations of corruption” against him. 

“Whether he was fired on that basis and he resigned on that basis, the basis is still the same―there is a serious allegation of corruption,” Panelo said. 

“On his side, he wants to have an investigation on that and he would not want to be viewed as clinging to a position when there are serious allegations of corruption against him.”

Panelo said Duterte had accepted Balutan’s “irrevocable resignation.” 

He said Balutan was supposed to resign on Friday, but he stepped down on Saturday.

“[There will be] no apologies because the announcement was made in good faith. I didn’t know he resigned,” Panelo said. 

He said the Office of the Ombudsman or the Office of the President might initiate an investigation into Balutan’s case. With Maricel V. Cruz

READ: Panelo flip-flops on Balutan case​

READ: ‘Whiff of corruption’ gets Duterte’s goat​

READ: Stop playing with the people’s money, PCSO told​

Topics: Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office , Alexander Balutan , Salvador Panelo , Rodrigo Duterte
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