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Gatchalian calls for immediate termination of contract between PAGCOR, third-party auditor 

A SENATOR has called for the termination of the contract between the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) and its third-party auditor after a New York-based bank denied issuing a certificate to the latter that supposedly qualified it for the P6-billion government engagement.   

Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, chair of the Senate ways and means committee, called for the “immediate” termination of the contract following a letter from Soleil Chartered Bank (SCB) that categorically denied providing any certification.   

“SCB would like to make record that it did not issue the questioned bank certification dated June 15, 2017,” it said in the letter.   

The Senate committee’s recent hearings on PAGCOR showed the government-owned corporation failed to comply with existing procurement rules when it awarded a 10-year contract to the auditor despite its inability to meet the operating capital requirement.    

The bank also said that it does not have a record of any account of the auditing consortium, certifying that it was not a client of SCB.  

The bank added that it did not engage in banking operations nor maintain an office in the Philippines, and its supposed address in the country, as claimed by the auditor, is “spurious.”  

“The bank guarantee submitted by the third-party contractor to PAGCOR is clearly fake,” Mr. Gatchalian said.   

“Because of this, the declared income of POGOs is questionable because it appears that the audit process has no credibility,” he said, referring to Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators. 

The auditor was supposed to review the income declaration of PAGCOR-licensed POGOs. 

In the same letter, the bank also noted that those involved in the issuance of the fake bank guarantee will be brought to court.  

“We trust that this matter has been clarified and hope that whoever may have committed this forgery will be dealt with accordingly in the proper court of law,” the SCB said.  

Offices declared by the consortium to PAGCOR were also found to be fictitious and inappropriate venues of operation. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan 

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