The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s (Pagcor), chairman and CEO Alejandro Tengco, will investigate allegations made against him and former members of the regulator board regarding a missing performance guarantee.
Local reports link Tengco and former Pagcor employees to the disappearance of an alleged performance bond. The bond is worth PHP75m (PS1.0m/EUR1.2m/$1.3m) and was posted by an e-sabong company.
According to reports, Joaquin Sy – the chairman and chief financial officer of Kamura Highlands Gaming and Holdings – has filed charges. Pagcor has licensed Kamura to offer remote and online betting on live cockfighting events and matches.
The charges include misappropriation of public money, qualified theft and falsifications of private and business documents in front of the Ombudsman. The disappearance is said to have occurred in July 2022.
Charges have also been brought against former Pagcor staff members Dianne Erica, Jogno, and others. Former Pagcor Chief Andrea Domingo, Carmen Pedrosa and Reynaldo Condilia and James Patrick Bondoc are among the ex-board members.
Since the alleged disappearance last year, both Pedrosa and Concordia are dead. Tengco was only elected to office in August of 2022, a month after the alleged incident.
The bond is not found
The cash performance bonds relates to Kamura’s e-sabong operation last year. Sy told Pagcor that he paid the cash performance bond in Manila by using two manager’s cheques drawn on his personal accounts and payable to Pagcor.
Sy said Pagcor provided official receipts as well as other documents that proved the posting of bond.
Sy claimed that Duterte, then president of Pagcor, ordered the e-sabong operation to be stopped a few months later. Sy tried to withdraw the bond in a letter to Domingo, but received no response. He kept up his efforts until the 10th of July.
Sy claimed that instead, he was verbally confirmed by Pagcor’s assistant vice president for finance, Lolita Gonzalez, that in September 2022, a check in the same amount as the bond had been issued to Castro. He was told that the cheque was cashed immediately.
Pagcor Chief takes allegations seriously
Tengco responded by saying that the incident occurred during the previous administration. He pledged to uncover the truth and determine the accountability within the agency.
Tengco stated that “while we find it odd that we were included in the alleged accusations, we will nevertheless pursue our own investigations and determine what actually happened and bring perpetrators to court if there was indeed any anomaly.”
Tengco said that an investigation would be conducted despite not having received a formal complaint by the Ombudsman.
Tengco stated that “we have launched an investigation internally and are trying to recreate events, since the department involved, E-Sabong Licensing Department has already been disbanded.”
Tengco also said that former President Duterte outlawed electronic sabotage in May 2022. The performance bond was filed in July that same year.
“The staff in the E-Sabong Licensing Department has been moved to other units.” We are trying retrace this alleged anomalous transaction.
The public can be assured that this incident occurred before we joined Pagcor. We will investigate this. Once we have received a copy from the Ombudsman, we will respond to any accusations made against us.