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Aquino reappoints Naguiat, directors to Pagcor board

Pagcor chairman Cristino Naguiat Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III has reappointed Cristino Naguiat Jr. as chairman of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) and renewed the appointments of its entire board of directors to serve a term of office to end on June 30, 2013.

Extended were the appointments of board members Jorge Sarmiento, Enriquito Nuguid, Eugene Manalastas and Jose Tanjuatco.

Sarmiento also serves as Pagcor chief operating officer.

All five were first appointed in 2010. Their new appointments would allow them to serve a term of office starting July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013.

Aquino signed their appointments on December 12, according to deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte.

Interviewed over Radyo ng Bayan Saturday, Valte said the President had to renew the appointments as mandated by the Governance Act of the government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs).

“Because of the GOCC Governance Act, the term of all the officials and members of the board of directors of the GOCCs is one year,” said Valte.

Maricar Bautista, Pagcor’s assistant vice president for corporate communications, told the Philippine Daily in a text message that Pagcor was grateful for President Aquino’s continued confidence in the leadership of Naguiat and the entire board for the past two-and-a-half years.

“Pagcor has significantly improved its performance in terms of generating billions in revenue remitted to the government. This will inspire Pagcor to work harder and remain true as the government’s partner in nation-building,” said Bautista.

Pagcor is a 100-percent government-owned and -controlled corporation that is directly supervised by the Office of the President.

Created during martial law, its corporate life was extended by 25 years in 2007, renewable for another 25 years.

The state-run gaming firm operates 13 casinos in major cities across the country.

The reappointments came as members of the House of Representatives decried the slow pace of the prosecution of former officials of Pagcor, whose five cases remain pending in the Office of the Ombudsman.

It took the new Pagcor management at least a year to file cases against ex-officials of the agency, led by former Chairman Efraim Genuino, either in the Ombudsman or the Department of Justice, members of the House good government committee said at a hearing last week.

“If the cases were already strong, and you prepared for the case for one year, why did it take the DOJ another year to bring it to the Office of the Ombudsman? And then the Ombudsman would still study the cases? It may take another year or so,” said Bayan Muna partylist Representative Teodoro Casiño.

In other news, the President appointed Sherwin Prose Castañeda as Acting Director III of the Department of Trade and Industry and Cezario Joel C. Espejo as Acting Director IV of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. (With a report from Christian V. Esguerra)

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