‘Here’s simple math: P30M vs P167M’
Malacañang on Thursday threw back at former Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., (Pagcor) chief Efraim Genuino his “bad math” dismissal of allegations that the state-run gaming firm had spent P1 billion on free coffee for its customers during his term.
Using his own simple math, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda questioned how Pagcor under its current chair, Cristino Naguiat Jr., had allocated only P30 million for its coffee expenditure this year against the P167 million in one year (2006) under Genuino.
“How are we able to do it at P30 million when they are doing it at P167 million? So obviously there’s something wrong. There is an obvious abuse of the consumption of coffee there,” Lacierda said.
In his state of the nation address last Monday, President Aquino zeroed in on an “anomaly” in the old Pagcor that Naguiat had supposedly uncovered—the P1 billion that Pagcor had allegedly spent on free coffee for casino customers during the 10-year watch of Genuino.
Genuino dismissed the allegations by suggesting that Naguiat did not know his math and had misinformed the President.
He pointed out that Pagcor had 13 casinos that hosted at least 25,000 customers per day, or 2,000 per casino, which came to about six cups of coffee per customer per day. He further pointed out that the coffee was not given free of charge to the casino-goers.
Lacierda on Thursday declared that Malacañang was standing by the “P1 billion coffee anomaly” that Naguiat had uncovered.
He disagreed with Genuino’s claim of “poor math” on Naguiat’s part.
He said Genuino and other former Pagcor officials were “drunk with coffee there.”
“We believe that there was widespread corruption in the consumption of coffee. Our position is we believe in the revelations made by Naguiat and I think that should be properly investigated,” he told reporters.
Lacierda indicated that there would be many more revelations of irregularities in the agency after the “P1 billion coffee anomaly”.
He said Naguiat has been conducting investigations since he took over the agency last year. He said that when he asked the new Pagcor chief if he “was able to find anomalies” in the agency he took over, Naguiat had told him he was looking at “so many things”.
“That’s the reason why you’ve seen a lot of revelations coming out from Pagcor. And if ever there are further revelations, chairman Bong Naguiat will reveal them in due time,” Lacierda said.
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