Alejandro Tengco (pictured in a file photo), the chairman and chief executive of the Philippine gaming regulator, was cited in a Wednesday statement saying he welcomes the opportunity to “get to the bottom” of allegations of illegal release and disappearance of funds totalling PHP75 million (US$1.3 million). The funds are reportedly related to the refund of a performance bond posted by a firm linked to online presentation of cockfighting, a betting business known as E-sabong.
In May 2022, then Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, decided to stop E-sabong operations at national level.
The Office of the Ombudsman in the Philippines has had submitted to it some charges against Mr Tengco, boss of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), and nine other individuals, including Mr Tengco’s predecessor as Pagcor chairman, Andrea Domingo. The case was brought by Joaquin Sy, the chief financial officer and board chairman of Kamura Highlands Gaming and Holdings Inc.
The PHP75 million was originally used as payment to Pagcor of a cash performance bond related to the issuance of an E-sabong licence last year on behalf of Kamura Highlands Gaming.
Mr Tengco was quoted as saying in Wednesday’s statement from Pagcor: “While this happened before we [sic] came to Pagcor, the public can rest assured that we will get to the bottom of this, and that we will respond to the accusations against us in the proper venue once we receive a copy of the alleged charges from the ombudsman.”
The Pagcor boss was also cited as saying that while the alleged disappearance of the money happened during the previous administration, he considered the case as an opportunity to find out the truth and determine accountability within the agency.
“While we find it strange that we are included in the alleged charges, we nevertheless will pursue our own investigation and determine what really happened, and bring the perpetrators to justice if indeed there was any anomaly,” he added.
Those named as respondents apart from Mr Tengco and Ms Domingo, include current Pagcor official Dianne Erica Jogno, and former Pagcor board members Gabriel Claudio, James Patrick Bondoc, Carmen Pedrosa, and Reynaldo Concordia.
The latter two individuals had “already passed away when the alleged disappearance of the PHP75 million took place some time in July 2022, while Mr Tengco assumed office only in August of the same year,” noted Wednesday’s statement from Pagcor.
Mr Tengco for his part said that while Pagcor has not received any formal complaint from the ombudsman, the organisation was already looking into the matter.
“We have launched an internal investigation and we are trying to recreate the sequence of events since the department allegedly involved, the E-Sabong Licensing Department, has already been disbanded,” he stated.
Mr Tengco further noted: “Former President Duterte outlawed E-sabong in May 2022 and the people in the E-Sabong Licensing Department have since been reassigned to other units so now we are trying to retrace the supposed anomalous transaction.”
Sep 28, 2023Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd is to help the government “revitalise” the Lai Chi Vun Shipyards in Coloane. The revamp project will be done in two phases,...
Sep 28, 2023
Minimum amount Hong Kong-listed International Entertainment will invest to develop an integrated resort in the Philippines capital, Manila