LTO chief admits going to casino

from a report by Atom Araullo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 14 2013 09:42 PM | Updated as of Aug 15 2013 11:23 PM

MANILA - Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief Virgina Torres has admitted going to a casino after a video clip of her playing at a slot machine went viral.

Torres said she played with the slot machine after having dinner with a friend.

She said she was amused with the machine's lights.

"Yes, I remember having dinner with a friend in a hotel. While waiting for the bill to be settled, I saw the slot machine on the lower floor and out of curiosity, I sat in front of one machine and marveled at the lights and read the instructions. I immediately left when the bill was paid. This happened way back," Torres said.

Memorandum circular 8 issued by the Palace in 2001 bars government officials, rank-and-file employees, soldiers, and police from even just entering casinos.

Ariel Ronquillo, assistant commissioner for legal affairs of the Civil Service Commission, said government workers should be role models.

Torres earlier drew flak for being close to President Benigno Aquino, who is fellow gun enthusiast.

She also became controversial when she clashed with her former boss, then Transportation and Communications Secretary Ping de Jesus.

The Civil Service Commission said Torres could be suspended for up to 6 months if she is found violating government regulations against going to a casino.

But this will happen only if either Malacañang or the Ombudsman sanctions Torres.