Pagcor ends deal with Pogo auditor for failing to fulfill duties, committing unlawful acts
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) announced on Thursday that it has terminated its P6-billion contract with its controversial third-party auditor for offshore gaming operations.
Pagcor said it had ended its consultancy contract with Global ComRCI after it deemed the auditor “in default of its obligations.”
Prima facie evidence showing that Global ComRCI “committed unlawful acts” was likewise found, the state gaming firm added.
“Pagcor has endorsed the matter to the Office of the Solicitor General for the possible filing of administrative, civil and criminal cases against Global ComRCI,” it said in a statement.
Pagcor reiterated that it had not yet paid the P6-billion contract amount to the auditor and further noted that it has made no payment in the past four years “due to the shortfall from the minimum revenue stipulated in the contract.”
It vowed, however, to exhaust available legal remedies to recover more than P800 million from the partial amount released to Global ComRCI before the Marcos administration took office, as well as the “damages it has caused to the corporation.”
Senate probe continues
In a separate statement, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said Pagcor’s move to terminate its contract with the private consortium “will certainly save the government a considerable amount of money that otherwise would have been spent on a spurious company like Global ComRCI.”
But, he stressed, the Senate will continue its probe on the “anomalous transaction” and will subsequently file appropriate charges against liable officials from Pagcor and Global ComRCI.
Gatchalian is leading an inquiry into the matter through the Senate committee on ways and means which he chairs.
“Umaasa tayo na maitutuwid na ang iba pang kaduda-dudang gawain sa gaming industry lalo na’t nagkaroon ng kapabayaan ang Pagcor sa pag-aaaral ng mga dokumento kaugnay nito. Dapat mapanagot ang mga taong responsable sa pagkontrata ng third-party auditor na walang sapat na teknikal at pinansyal na kapasidad,” Gatchalian added.
(We are hoping that we can still fix the dubious activities in the gaming industry, especially since Pagcor was remiss in studying the related documents on this. The people responsible for contracting the third-party auditor without sufficient technical and financial capacity should be held responsible.)
In November 2022, senators aired doubts on the qualifications and competence of Global ComRCI, which is a venture of two Filipino companies – Global Myoho Renge Copy Inc. and Comfac Corp., and a foreign firm, Malta-based Highweb Trade Ltd.
READ: Questions over Pagcor-hired POGO auditor
Gatchalian berated Pagcor officials for tapping Global ComRCI to examine the earnings of Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogo), saying the auditor was “not credible, not capable…not qualified.”
READ: Gov’t ‘tricked’ by POGO auditor, senators say
He later revealed that New York-based Soleil Chartered Bank had sent a letter to inform him that Global ComRCI is not among its clients.
The bank also did not issue a certificate to Global ComRCI which supposedly showed that the firm had $25 million in bank deposits, Gatchalian added.
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