Philippine Department of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has never been one to shy away from high-profile cases. She once took on former Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and was one of the primary reasons why a former Philippine Supreme Court justice was impeached earlier this year.
So when a Reuters report broke news of an alleged bribery deal involving Kazuo Okada’s Universal Entertainment and a pair of former Pagcor execs, de Lima was quick to act, creating a fact-finding body to investigate the controversial scandal.
As part of the panel’s objectives, the DOJ’s fact-finding body will investigate the allegations surrounding “a series of questionable payments” made by Aruze USA, Universal’s Nevada-based subsidiary, to former Pagcor chief Efraim Genuino Jr. and Pagcor consultant Rodolfo Soriano.
The DOJ secretary also announced the members of this fact-finding body, which will include the following individuals: Marlon Tauli from the National Bureau of Investigation’s (NBI) anti-graft division; Catherine A. Camposano, executive officer of NBI’s internal audit unit; and state prosecutor Rosalina P. Aquino.
The fact-finding panel will be the official DOJ-licensed team that will look into this case where a full report is expected to be completed and submitted to the DOJ secretary no later than 30 days. As part of that report, the panel will then make a decision on whether to file administrative or criminal charges to anybody found to have been involved in the alleged bribery scandal.
Suffice to say, it’s going to be pretty interesting to see what kind of information this fact-finding team discovers surrounding a case that has turned Pagcor upside its head. The good thing is we won’t have to wait long for the report to be submitted, and if the parties involved in the scandal are determined to have engaged in some nefarious and under-handed wheeling-and-dealings, then you’re looking at a bigger mess that could potentially have far-reaching effects than any of us initially anticipated.