BIR probes tax records of Atong Ang
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has disclosed that it was examining the tax records of gambling operator Charlie “Atong” Ang, who had been implicated in a public spat between officials of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
“We are still looking at it, the records of Atong Ang, based on the request of [Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II],” BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay told a press briefing on Thursday.
But Dulay clarified that the BIR was only “looking at the records if there is basis for investigating him.”
Front for ‘jueteng’
Ang, who had been convicted of bribing a government official in 2007, is associated with jai alai operator Meridien Vista Gaming Corp. although he has repeatedly denied being its owner.
The late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo had previously suspected that Meridien, whose operation was authorized by Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, was using its jai alai business as front for the illegal numbers game “jueteng.”
Aguirre had requested the BIR to look into the tax records of Ang and Meridien after the gambling operator accused the justice secretary and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon of plotting to kill him, an allegation the two officials denied.
Ang also claimed that Aguirre and Esperon wanted to ease him out as they were involved in jueteng in areas where Meridien was operating.
He was again dragged into another gambling-related controversy when PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan claimed that Ang was in the company of PCSO Director Sandra Cam when he offered to operate the PCSO’s Small Town Lottery (STL) nationwide.
According to the PCSO general manager, Cam accompanied Ang when the latter met with Balutan and PCSO Chair Jorge Corpuz shortly after they were appointed by President Duterte in 2016.
But Cam began criticizing the PCSO after Corpuz and Balutan declined the offer and instead expanded the STL under the direct supervision of the PCSO
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.