Lawmaker calls for suspension of casino deal

PARTY list Rep. Teddy Casiño today called for the suspension of the casino deal involving the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Entertainment City.

At today’s budget deliberations, PAGCOR Chairman Cristino Naguiat told Congress that they are awaiting the findings of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) on the legality of the PAGCOR Entertainment City.

“Considering the seriousness of the anomalies unearthed regarding the P13 billion land acquisition for the project which involves the suspected dummy corporations Eagle 1 and Eagle 2 owned by Okada and persons closely associated with former PAGCOR Chair Genuino, there is also the issue of conflict of interest by Genuino who granted the provisional license for Okada’s Tiger Entertainment Co. It would be best for PAGCOR to suspend the projects pending the outcome of investigations,” said the progressive solon.

At the hearing, Casiño reminded Naguiat of his possible violations of Republic Act no. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act on grounds of receiving “any gift, present, share, percentage, or benefit” and of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees in agreeing to accept favors from Okada in at least three instances in Las Vegas and Macau.

“Knowing all these, bakit nagpalibre pa kayo kay Okada sa Macau? Hindi ba ito violation ng ating code of conduct and ethical standards at ng anti-graft laws natin? The freebies might be an industry practice but you are not an ordinary company, you are a public corporation imbued with public interest and subject to government standards. Shouldn’t we hold you liable for violating the code of conduct and anti-graft laws,” asked Casiño.

Naguiat replied that he would not do the same thing again.

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