If what Bayan Muna representative Teddy Casiño has in his hands is completely and unequivocally legitimate, then you can pretty much say goodbye to Kauzo Okada’s Pagcor license.
According to the Manila Standard Today, the member of the Philippine House of Representatives came out and said that he was in possession of bank documents detailing a $10 million bribe Kazuo Okada gave to former Pagcor exec Rodolfo Soriano. The amount of the bribe, according to Casiño, is actually double than the $5 million that was previously reported. Even more damning are claims by Casiño that Okada’s bribery of Pagcor personnel extends to present officials, seemingly suggesting that Soriano and former Pagcor chief Efraim Genuino Jr. weren’t the only beneficiaries of the Japanese tycoon’s alleged “generosity”.
“Based on the evidence that we have gathered, bribery indeed took place and the logical conclusion is that the alleged bagman Rodolfo Soriano was not the only one that received the bribes but also other government officials,” Casino said, as quoted by the Manila Standard Today.
Casiño is expected to present the said documents early this week to the Congressional Committee on Good Government and Accountability, documents of which contain an HSBC bank transfer of $10 million from Future Fortune Limited, a Hong Kong-registered company established and operated by several Universal employees, to Subic Leisure and Management, a company that’s rumored to be controlled by Soriano. Another Soriano-owned company, People’s Technology Holding Ltd., was also alleged to have received $5 million from Future Fortune. Speaking of People’s Technology Holding Ltd., Casiño also told reporters that he also had copies of documents proving that Soriano is the controlling shareholder of the company. Talk about damning evidence.
Should these documents that Casiño will present prove to be authentic, you can expect the Philippine government to revoke Okada’s license. Such a scenario happening has already caused quite a stir after representative Amado Bagatsing, the chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Games and Amusement, told reporters last week that there has been significant interest from investors licking their chops to scoop up Universal’s license in the event it becomes available.
More importantly, though, that part of current officials also receiving bribes will also cause a seismic disturbance in Pagcor’s current state of affairs. Is it enough to derail, or at least, suspend the Entertainment City project at the behest of Casiño?
What we do know is that there are more pages that are going to be written in this growing saga. This isn’t over yet.
Not yet by a long shot.