Alvarez twits 'Daang Matawid' over shady Pagcor deal


Posted at Feb 15 2017 12:55 PM | Updated as of Feb 15 2017 01:33 PM

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez gestures during a forum with businessmen in Makati early July. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Wednesday assailed the "Daang Matuwid" anti-corruption slogan of the Aquino administration as he questioned an anomalous lease agreement approved by former officials of the Philippine Amusements and Games Corp.

Alvarez said an inquiry by the House of Representatives committee on good government and public accountability has established that Pagcor officials paid P243 million to the Vanderwood Management Corp for the lease of a building that was not even constructed yet when the contract was signed in 2015.

"Maliwanag na maliwanag na ang dating officials ng Pagcor ay umupa sa isang panaginip -- panaginip dahil binayaran ng gobyerno iyung isang building na nasa panaginip pa lang. Ngayon lang ako nakakita ng ganoon, yun pala ang 'Daang Matuwid,' yung panaginip uupahan mo," he told radio DZMM.

(It is very clear that former officials of Pagcor rented a dreamt-up facility -- dreamed up because the government paid for a building that has yet ti be built. This is the first time that I saw something like that, it turns out that's what Daang Matuwid is: renting a ghost facility.)

The property is located inside the Museo ng Maynila complex and belongs to city of Manila.

Lawmakers discovered that the Manila government had leased the building to Oceanville and Spa Corp., which in turn subleased the building to Vanderwood, said Alvarez.

The House of Representatives summoned Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and Oceanville officials to the next hearing on the questionable contract.

Current Pagcor chair Andrea Domingo, meanwhile said she wrote Vanderwood as early as 6 months ago, asking the firm to return the 6-month deposit at 12-month advance payment given by government.

Domingo said she is also searching for an alternative building that could house their casino. -- With a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News