Philippine media reported that documents have been turned over to the country’s Justice Secretary, Vitaliano Aguirre, that it is claimed show evidence of corruption relating to operations of the country’s gaming regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor), under prior presidential oversight.
Details of the allegations were not given in the media reports.
Secretary Aguirre was himself last week absolved by a Philippine Senate inquiry of any wrongdoing in an alleged bribery case centring on the Philippine casino operations of Chinese businessman Jack Lam Yin Lok.
Mr Aguirre was quoted in the Wednesday reports as saying the fresh set of allegations – concerning Pagcor activities prior to the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte – also involved the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority. Secretary Aguirre suggested the latter body had “created an avenue for Internet gaming in the Philippines that is independent from any other government agency or authority including Pagcor”.
An incoming national president normally appoints his or her own nominees to the senior leadership roles in Pagcor.
There is a precedent for senior Pagcor officials being pursued via the courts after they leave their posts.
After the administration of President Benigno Aquino took power in June 2010, it witnessed an inquiry into the conduct of Efraim Genuino, who served as Pagcor chairman under the previous president, Gloria Arroyo.
On March 3 this year, it was reported in the Philippine media that the Sandiganbayan – a special appellate court – had found probable cause to proceed with a trial against Mr Genuino for alleged perjury.
The former Pagcor boss is accused of failing to disclose four real estate lots in his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth made during the period 2002 to 2005.
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”If the PHP3,000 [US$61] would be imposed as an entrance fee [in Philippine casinos], it would wipe out the whole mass market”
Head of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp