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Monday, March 4, 2024

Gatchalian urges Pagcor to act on erring officials on POGO mess

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Senator Sherwin Gatchalian challenged the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) to initiate the filing of appropriate charges against erring agency officials involved in the anomalous procurement of a third-party auditor of gross gaming revenues of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).

He noted that Pagcor officials and employees should be held accountable for being negligent and being in cahoot with Global ComRCI, the third-party auditor, to get the contract although not qualified.

The senator issued the challenge after Pagcor ended its ten-year, P6-billion contract with Global ComRCI after it was found to “have committed unlawful acts” and to be “in default of its obligations.”

The termination follows an investigation by the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, chaired by Gatchalian, which revealed numerous irregularities in the way Global ComRCI secured the contract with Pagcor to undertake a third-party audit of gaming revenues generated by POGOs.

Among such irregularities include the submission of a falsified bank guarantee from a financial institution that was unauthorized by the central bank to provide financial services in the country.

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 “We should run after  and file charges against government officials and employees involved in corruption,” he said.

Global ComRCI’s submission of a false document is a ground for the termination of the contract, the Senator said, citing Section 69 of Republic Act 9184, or the Government Procurement Reform Act, which specifies the grounds and sanctions for blacklisting a contractor.

Further citing the law, he said that private individuals and any public officer conspiring with them in submitting falsified documents in order to influence the outcome of the eligibility screening process and competitive bidding shall suffer the penalty of imprisonment.

PAGCOR said it has endorsed its decision to the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) for the possible filing of administrative, civil, and criminal cases against Global ComRCI./

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