A FORMER Marine general and a retired police general now head the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
Retired Marine general Alexander Balutan succeeds outgoing PCSO general manager Atty. Joy Rojas II while former chief superintendent Jose Jorge Corpuz is the new PCSO chairman.
Malacañang is mum on the reason for the change in Balutan’s assignment.
Balutan was previously tapped by President Rodrigo Duterte to take the helm of the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City but the post will now be held in acting capacity by retired police general Rolando Asuncion, who was BuCor’s deputy for operations.
President Duterte had said he wanted a “killer” at the PCSO to overhaul the agency.
“Itong Philippine Charity Sweepstakes (Office), it is a corrupt agency. ‘Yang mga pabingo-bingo na ‘yan, hawak nang ano -- ‘yung lotto pati jueteng, ginanun nila -- that is the racket. And you would notice, I have never appointed anybody there. I am looking for a killer,” Duterte said in a speech last month at Davao City.
The new PCSO officials are set to assume their new posts tomorrow and were introduced to the PCSO employees last Thursday.
Balutan, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1983, has earned the “Mandirigma” (warrior) tag owing to his experience as a combat veteran in conflict areas in Mindanao.
The former Marine general is best remembered for testifying at the Senate about alleged election fraud in the 2004 presidential elections that then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo won. Balutan, then a colonel, was assigned in Central Mindanao during that election.
He had opted for early retirement in anticipation of assuming the directorship of the BuCor until Duterte’s change of mind. Balutan was supposed to take over the national penitentiary on August 1.
Meanwhile, Malacañang has yet to confirm whom Duterte is appointing to the Movie Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) whose chairmanship is currently being held by Atty. Eugenio “Toto” Villareal, an Opus Dei member and professor at Ateneo Center.
Among those being rumored to succeed Villareal are MTRCB board member and scriptwriter Bibeth Orteza, and director Nick Lizaso who is reportedly to be named executive director for an upcoming Department of Culture and Arts to be headed by Freddie Aguilar.
Other names mentioned are Rosemarie “Baby” Arenas and former actress and talent manager Annabelle Rama.