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The PCSO Scandal: the Bayad Utang Republic of Aquino

Manoling Morato and his father behind him

Imagine the state’s agency which directly helps the poor, now straddled with debts and possible bankruptcy. The chairman of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Margie Juico will definitely not admit it but her decision to transfer the PCSO offices to the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) is really the real cause why the agency’s operating funds are hemorrhaging.

Why the haste for the transfer? As what former PCSO Chairman Manoling Morato revealed it was to expedite the sale of the Quezon Institute’s 6.5 hectare property to Alex Lopez, an alleged colleague of Margie Juico’s husband Philip.

Lopez reportedly wanted to clear the area so that Massive Design can start building those condominium units. Hey, nothing wrong except that the Quezon Institute prime property has been the home of the PCSO since the 1930’s. It’s rent free.

Of course, who would not want to partake of this project, seeing that residential condominiums are expected to rise from it. Morato even said that a PCSO official was promised three condominium units if he (or she) convinces the board to immediately effect the transfer.

How did the transfer go? Well, the transfer went well. It left the historical buildings at the property in total disarray. The 200 million MIS system was partially disrupted due to the change of location. And the improvements made by several PCSO boards in those historical buildings were utterly destroyed, all in the name of “real estate.”

Now, the PCSO operating fund is slowly being drained.

Why is this happening at the PCSO, once the most beloved government agency by the poor? Is this the way Aquino and his government gives back the high trust of the people behind his administration?

Aquino should let Juico go. Yes, she and her husband Popoy gave 5 million pesos during the elections. A one year term is enough I think for the couple to recover their investment.

That’s the problem with us–we are suckers for utang na loob. Why the hell will Pnoy give to Margie Juico the entire PCSO when he probably knows for a fact that Dr. Mita Pardo de Tavera filed a graft case against Juico for that much-ballyhooed “milk feeding program”.

Now that the election ban is over, Pnoy would again be appointing people in the bureaucracy.

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