MANILA, Philippines - Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago is initiating a probe into allegations of another bribery case at the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), which involves this time a former official and consultant.
Santiago, in filing a resolution urging a legislative investigation, said former Pagcor Chairman Efraim Genuino and former consultant Rodolfo Soriano should explain the alleged millions of bribe in exchange for concessions for the $2 billion casino of Japanese tycoon Kazuo Okada at the planned Entertainment City in Pasay.
The senator said she is aghast that a mere consultant represented Pagcor and negotiated with the Okada led-Universal Entertainment Corp.
She said Congress should limit the powers of consultants in government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs). She added government officials who give blanket authority to consultants to transact on behalf of their agency or the Philippine government should also be penalized.
She said Genuino and Soriano may be held liable under the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, which imposes a penalty of up to ten years in prison and a perpetual disqualification from public office.
The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation and Pagcor are already launching separate investigations into the matter.
"Kami din ay nasopresa na grabe pala talaga ang nangayari... Ang gagawin natin ay magpapatulong tayo sa DOJ (Department of Justice) at NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) para makipag-coordinate sa Federal Bureau of Investigation, para malaman ang report, kung kailangan ng aksyon," Pagcor chief legal counsel Jay Santiago told radio dzMM.
The incumbent chief of Pagcor, Cristino Naguiat Jr., was also tagged earlier to bribery allegations also involving Okada.