National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon on Friday denied accusations that he threatened to kill gambling operator Charlie "Atong" Ang.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Ang asked for protection from President Duterte as he accused Esperon, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, and members of Philippine Military Academy Class (PMA) ’82 of wanting him dead.
Ang alleged the officials wanted to weaken the virtual jai alai operations of Meridien Vista Gaming Corporation, where he is general manager, in order to promote Small Time Lottery (STL).
"It is very likely that he is concocting tall tales again as in past years or is simply paranoid, which is typical of people who engage in illegal activities," Esperon said in a statement.
"He should show evidence or witnesses that I want to see him dead," he added.
Esperon also refuted allegations that he went to his hometown in Pangasinan to convince local officials to patronize the government's small time lottery over Ang's jai alai.
"I am a native of Asingan in the 6th District and I visit our old home at least every quarter. I also go to Alaminos City in the 1st District where I have been maintaining a coral nursery and spearheading the coral rehabilitation in the Hundred Islands since 2015."
Esperon said Ang has been "making up" stories to paint himself as an "underdog" who is "being persecuted" by the administration.
"Hindi siya ang mamamatay. Mamamatay ang illegal gambling niya," he said.
Aguirre earlier denied similar allegations hurled by Ang against him.