Davao meeting: Duterte says he asked Atong Ang to help PCSO
President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said he once talked to gaming consultant Charlie “Atong” Ang and told him to just help the government.
Before he left for India, the President said Ang, who appeared at a Senate hearing on Wednesday, had wanted to start jai alai operations in Davao City, but Mr. Duterte did not allow it.
“I called him and I said, ‘Atong, you are the No. 1 gambler here in Davao. You are behind everything. Let’s not kid ourselves. Go to the PCSO (Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office), put an end to all that is illegal [there] and help the government,’” he said.
The President, a longtime mayor of Davao City, said that was the only reason he contacted Ang.
He said he told Ang that they would just fight if Ang insisted on introducing jai alai in Davao.
“I told him, ‘We are friends. Don’t insist on that. We will just fight,’” Mr. Duterte said.
Ang, a consultant and operating manager of Meridien Vista Gaming Corp., said the President had indeed asked him to help fix the PCSO as early as September last year.
At the Senate hearing, he denied PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan’s allegation that he was a gambling lord.
Ang said he met the President in Davao City shortly after he won the elections in May 2016.
It was Christopher “Bong” Go, Mr. Duterte’s special assistant, who called him up to ask him to congratulate the President. Ang said he told the President that the PCSO was being “used as a front for all irregularities” there.
Last September, Sandra Cam, a “jueteng” whistle-blower who was appointed PCSO board member by the President, called him up to say Go had instructed her to bring him to the PCSO to meet with Balutan and its then chair, Jose Jorge Corpuz, according to Ang.
“Sandra told me he was asked to go to the PCSO to help raise its revenues and fix its operations because he had talked this through (with the President),” he said.
Ang said he went to the PCSO on Sept. 14, 2017, but did not get a warm welcome from Corpuz.