Payoff issue: House panel won’t summon Genuino




MANILA, Philippines—So what if the payoff happened two years after?

Bayan Muna party-list Representative Teodoro Casiño on Thursday urged the House committee investigating allegations of malfeasance to summon former Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) Chairman Efraim Genuino and his purported bagman, Rodolfo Soriano, to its next hearing on an alleged bribe they received from Japanese billionaire Kasuo Okada’s Universal Entertainment Corp.

But Rep. Amado Bagatsing, chairman of the committee on games and amusement, agreed to invite only Soriano, a former Pagcor consultant, saying there was nothing to link Genuino to the bribery charge “so far.”

“We will invite Soriano in the meantime because there is still no link with Genuino so far,” Bagatsing told the Inquirer in a text message.

At the committee’s initial hearing on Wednesday, Bagatsing appeared cool to the idea that Soriano, or Genuino, had pocketed $15 million in combined payoffs made in 2010—two years after Okada’s Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc. secured a provincial license to operate from Pagcor.

Tiger was among four companies allowed to operate casinos in Entertainment City, which is being built on 120 hectares of reclaimed land on Manila Bay.

“I don’t know if any businessman would do that, pay off an outgoing (official), and you already had a license for the last two years,” Bagatsing had said at the hearing.

“These people have reputations to protect, so give us reasons to really compel them to attend,” he had added.

But Casiño, the chief proponent of the House inquiry, said “the inconvenience to Soriano and Genuino is nothing compared to the need to know the truth.”

“Does it matter if the payoff happened two years later? These projects are constantly under review, and the license was provisional, always subject to review,” he said.

“I hope the committee considers this serious issue that’s worth more than the inconvenience of the two,” he added.

“Sometimes for a project of this magnitude, they let the (payoff) sleep first,” Casiño said in Filipino. “But the fact that there was a payoff should be a cause for concern.”

At the hearing, Tiger general manager Masahiro Terada briefed the representatives on the cases filed in Tokyo by Okada against three former employees over the separate disbursements of $5 million and $10 million to companies identified with Soriano.

Terada said the $5 million represented a “guarantee fee.” A Reuters report on November 16 said the money went to People’s Technology Ltd., a company that listed Soriano as its sole owner.

The $10 million was allegedly moved to Subic Leisure and Management Ltd.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • george bernard

    Only a fool would believe that this man is honest.

  • nice_boy

    In the trial at the SandiganBayan, Casino was proven to be a perjurer.  

  • vir_a

    The link is only in the minds of Casino. He does not hold anything that is within the definition of what evidence is. There is however a strong link between his stunt now and his desire to become a senator.

  • EdgarEdgar

    Doesn’t quite add up. Genuino was already on his way out in 2010. Any investor who wishes to curry favor with the powers that be will of course put more of their eggs with the new or incoming Pagcor chief. Naguiat will be in hotter waters in the coming weeks. More so with citizens’ action groups filing cases against him for misusing the Pagcor-owned vehicles for private use. Private use in this case extends to his children as captured in video.

  • speedstream2

    Why is the committee chair making seemingly conclusive statements when the probe has not even started yet? Isn’t this much like second-guessing the committee? If there is reason to believe that some malfeasance occurred and therefore actionable, instead of a house probe, Why doesn’t the concerned entity just build an appropriate case and file it before the proper body? 

  • anton kinuton

    maraming congressmen ang nakinabang nung kapanahunan ni genuino sa pagcor, kaya untoucheable siya. anong reputation ang pinagsasabi ni bagatsing, di ba may plunder case si genuino? 

  • kismaytami

    Will just wait for the result of U.S. authorities in their own investigation. Theirs is much more believable than circus in the lower house.

  • $17531445

    ” … the inconvenience to Soriano and Genuino is nothing compared to the need to know the truth.”  –  fine words from a leftist who would invoke the same human rights for himself when he need it which he would now deny to others.

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