Pagcor’s lack of urgency on illegal Pogo activities irks Gatchalian
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s (Pagcor) lack of urgency on the illegal activities of Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos) is annoying Senator Sherwin Gatchalian.
During Monday’s hearing of the Senate committee on ways and means, Gatchalian asked what Pagcor’s actions are against erring Pogo firms Brickhartz Technology Inc. and MOA Cloudzone Corp.
“These are accredited service providers and they are connected to the crime that was mentioned by Senator [Grace] Poe in her privilege speech. Tama po ba (Correct)?”
“The privilege speech was given [on] December 14 and you’re telling me wala pa kayong ginagawa (you have not done anything)?” the panel chairperson also asked Pagcor.
Pagcor Offshore Gaming Licensing Department Assistant Vice President Jessa Fernandez said Brickhartz was imposed with penalties and demerits while they have yet to receive a report for MOA Cloudzone.
READ: Pagcor is blind about where exactly Pogo players are wagering
Brickhartz, according to Fernandez, was fined $10,000 or P500,000 due to criminal activity.
Still, Gatchalian lamented that not much has happened since Poe’s privilege speech was delivered in December 2022.
Pagcor Legal Group Vice President Roderick Consolacion, however, noted that Fernandez was just appointed to the position in the past week and that they underwent a reorganization.
But Gatchalian said changes in the agency are not acceptable reasons.
“I don’t accept the reason that because Atty. Jessa is new [and] you have a reorganization, a crime that was perpetuated last month, December 14 in particular, after 30 days, more than 30 days, nothing is happening,” the senator said.
“The same people are operating. The same entities are still accredited by Pagcor and you’re just telling us that you just fined them P500,000, hoping that they will change morally. Don’t give us the reason that you have a new head. There’s no sense of urgency within Pagcor in so far as dealing with the crime. That’s the problem,” he added.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. recently said the issue with Pogos stem from those that were illegally operating.
READ: Bongbong Marcos in no rush to ban POGOs
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