Senator Grace Poe, an independent candidate for the Philippines’ presidency, allegedly accepted campaign contributions from Macau’s largest VIP gaming consolidator Suncity Group, reported on Monday the Daily Tribune newspaper.
The newspaper claims it obtained documents showing that Ms Poe’s camp accepted a total of PHP150 million (US$3.22 million) in “political donations” from Sun City Holiday Resort, described in the report as a subsidiary of Suncity Group, a company controlled by Alvin Chau Cheok Wa.
The alleged donations were recorded through three cash vouchers issued last year, said the Daily Tribune. One of the vouchers, for PHP50 million, has Ms Poe’s signature, the report added.
The Daily Tribune said the contributions might have breached Philippine laws that ban companies from making donations for election purposes.
Ms Poe has already denied receiving donations from any company linked to Suncity Group.
“That is absolutely not true,” the senator said on Monday, quoted by the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper.
“Why would I do that? First of all, it is unlawful. I have not received any contribution like that,” she added.
Commenting on the voucher with her signature, she said: “It is too easy to get another document for me to sign. It is really not true. And it is such an unfortunate thing.”
A representative of Suncity Group told GGRAsia that the firm was not aware of the case and “has no knowledge” of the alleged payments made to Ms Poe’s campaign.
Suncity Group operates VIP rooms in several casinos in Macau, as well as VIP clubs in casinos in the Philippines, according to a corporate website. The junket firm operates such VIP clubs at Solaire Resort and Casino and at City of Dreams Manila, both properties at Entertainment City in the Philippine capital. It also manages the Cagayan Suncity VIP Club, in northern Philippines.
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”So far the Macau government has never failed us. And I think we have always been rewarded appropriately for the amount of investment”
Lawrence Ho Yau Lung
Chairman and chief executive of Melco Resorts and Entertainment