Pagcor exec who uncovered coffee ‘scam’ nervous
After revealing an alleged overprice in casino coffee, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) Chair Cristino Naguiat Jr. is now a bundle of nerves.
Naguiat said the supposed irregularities he unearthed and the cases he subsequently filed against his predecessor, Efraim Genuino, had made him more security conscious.
“With the cases we filed, it’s possible that I’m now a target of assassination,” Naguiat told the Inquirer.
The possible fallout from the alleged anomalies he uncovered were getting on his nerves, he said. “Of course I’m afraid. Who wouldn’t feel that way?”
“The people involved are no ordinary persons,” he added.
A close friend of President Aquino’s, Naguiat said the gaming firm spent over P1 billion for giveaway coffee during Genuino’s tenure as Pagcor chair from 2001 to June last year.
He said the wife of Genuino’s “known ally,” Johnny Tan, was awarded a contract to establish Figaro coffee shops in seven Pagcor-run casinos and made around P700 million.
Since June, the current Pagcor board has filed four criminal complaints against Genuino, his three children, their associates and other former Pagcor officials.
On June 14, the state-owned gaming firm filed the first complaint in the Department of Justice against Genuino, his son Erwin and 25 other individuals for allegedly funneling P26.7 million in Pagcor funds to finance the film “Baler” in 2008.
A week later, Pagcor and former Sen. Nikki Coseteng filed graft charges against Genuino et al. in the Office of the Ombudsman for the alleged misuse of a P30-million allocation for the Philippine Aquatic Sports Association.
Naguiat revealed that a Pagcor employee who had tried to speak out about questionable financial transactions entered into by Pagcor during Genuino’s tenure received an unwanted gift.
“When that employee tried to expose what he knew about the anomalies in Pagcor, a grenade was lobbed at his house,” Naguiat said.
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