Casiño renews calls to investigate PAGCOR bribery

SAYING that the extravagant accommodations given to PAGCOR Chief Cristino Naguiat and other executives at Wynn Macau in 2010 and the recent revelations of a $40 million payoff to an alleged bagman of former PAGCOR Chief Ephraim Genuino are just “tips of a huge iceberg,” Party list Rep. Teddy Casiño will submit to Congress supporting documents pointing to the massive bribery involving PAGCOR’s Entertainment City.

Tomorrow, the solon will present to the Congressional Committee on Good Government and Accountability copies of documents showing the HSBC bank transfer of $10 million from Kazuo Okada’s holding company to Subic Leisure and Management, which sources say is controlled by Rodolfo Soriano, a PAGCOR consultant and close associate of former PAGCOR chair Efraim Genuino.

He will also present copies of Japanese documents showing Soriano as the controlling shareholder of People’s Technology Holding Limited which received $5 million from Okada’s Future Fortune Limited, which lists Mitsuo Hida, former branch president, as director.

Casiño said he is still working with his sources to get more documents that will solidify the bribery connections between Okada and Soriano who was mentioned in the Wynn Resorts Compliance Committee Report as the bagman of former Chairman Efraim Genuino.

“The committee can request official copies of these documents from Japanese courts where cases have been filed by Okada against his own people in an aparrent move to distance himself from the anomalies,” Casiño said.

Recent reports initiated by Reuters narrated how Okada’s Universal Entertainment Corp. supposedly paid Soriano $40 million through the former’s Future Fortune and the latter’s People’s Technology Holding.

Future Fortune, set up in Hong Kong in 2008 and headed by Universal officers such as Hida, reportedly transferred $5 million to People’s Technology in 2010, the same time that Universal sought tax and ownership-related concessions under the last months of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s presidency. Meanwhile, $35 million was paid in increments between January to May 2010 to Subic Leisure and Management, a shell company supposedly owned by Soriano.

Subic Leisure was registered in the British Virgin Islands in September 2008, weeks after Universal acquired reclaimed land on Manila Bay and announced plans to build Asia’s largest aquarium, a Ferris wheel and a 2,050-room hotel and casino. Unfortunately, under corporate laws in the British Virgin Islands, Subic Leisure does not have to disclose its directors or investors.

“I think that more evidence can be obtained when we hold the hearing on this sordid project and it would be best if the government immediately suspend the Entertainment City project so that no more public funds will be wasted,” ended Casiño.

The Makabayan senatorial candidate is the author of House Resolution 98 directing the Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability to conduct an investigation, in aid of legislation, into the various multi-million anomalies attending the PAGCOR that was practically made a milking cow by Genuino-led management under the Arroyo administration, HR 2274 which calls for the investigation of so-called “industry practice” involving officials of the PAGCOR and the findings of the Wynn Resorts Compliance Committee on corruption in the Philippine gaming industry, and HR 2809 calling for the suspension of the PAGCOR Entertainment City deal due to numerous irregularities.

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