Alejandro Tengco, Chairman and CEO of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor), has launched an inquiry into claims that he and former Pagcor board members were involved in the disappearance of a PHP75 million (£1.0 million/€1.2 million/$1.3 million) performance bond. According to local media sources, Tengco and other former Pagcor employees were involved in the alleged loss of the bond, which was deposited by an e-sabong (online cockfighting) firm.
Joaquin Sy, Chairman and Chief Finance Officer of Kamura Highlands Gaming and Holdings, filed the allegations. Kamura is licensed by Pagcor to conduct online and remote betting on live cockfighting events. The charges include misappropriation of public funds, qualified theft, and document falsification, with suspicions that the monies vanished in July 2022.
Former Pagcor Chief Andrea Domingo and ex-board members Gabriel Claudio, Carmen Pedrosa, Reynaldo Concordia, and James Patrick Bondoc are among those charged in the allegations. Unfortunately, Pedrosa and Concordia have died since the claimed occurrence, while Tengco entered office in August 2022, after the event.
The missing cash performance bond is connected to Kamura’s prior year’s e-sabong business. Sy had posted the bond using two manager’s checks made out to Pagcor and drawn on his personal bank accounts. Despite his efforts to withdraw the bond when previous Pagcor President Duterte suspended e-sabong operations, Sy said he obtained verbal confirmation that a check for the same amount had been issued in favor of an individual named Castro and was promptly cashed.
Tengco has stated that he will investigate the matter thoroughly to determine the truth and accountability within the agency. He has pledged to launch an internal investigation, despite not having received a formal complaint from the ombudsman. The E-Sabong Licensing Department, where the alleged anomaly took place, has since been disbanded, complicating efforts to trace the transaction. Tengco has assured the public that Pagcor will address the accusations appropriately once a copy of the alleged charges is received from the ombudsman.
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