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Ex-TRC chief’s link to Bamban and Porac POGOs flagged

June 18, 2024 Camille P. Balagtas 218 views

SENATOR Risa Hontiveros on Monday sounded the alarm over the reported link of convicted former Technology and Resource Center Director General Dennis Cunanan to the raided Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) in both Bamban, Tarlac and Porac, Pampanga.

The senator revealed documents showing that Cunanan, who was sentenced to a 26-year jail term for his involvement in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam, acted as an “authorized representative” for the Hong Sheng POGO in Bamban as well as the Lucky South POGO in Porac.

“Cunanan figured in one of the largest corruption scandals our country has ever seen. Baka yung ginawa niya sa PDAF ay ina-apply niya rin dito sa mga POGO. Pinapakita din nito na may koneksyon talaga ang Bamban at Porac na POGO. Tila nagsama-sama silang mga scammer,” Hontiveros said.

“We will invite Mr. Cunanan to the next hearing to clarify his involvement. Basta may POGO, may koneksyon sa scam. Sabi ko nga, lahat ng POGO, masama. There is no differentiation between bad POGO or “good” POGO. It seems that POGOs are deliberately tapping former and present officials they can easily corrupt,” the senator said.

Hontiveros, who is leading the inquiry into the participation of Bamban Mayor Alice Guo in POGO scam operations, stressed that influencing public officials is part of POGOs’ strategy to continue their criminal activities in the country.

“Kaya hindi matanggal-tanggal ang POGO sa bansa kasi mukhang may mga binayaran na silang mga opisyal. Alam ng POGO na malaking kahinaan ng Pilipinas ang korapsyon kaya sinasamantala nila ito,” the senator said.

“I call on my fellow public servants to join the growing call to ban POGOs now. We must show these POGOs that the Philippines does not have a price. Puksain natin ang korapsyon at palayasin na ang POGO,” Hontiveros said.