The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) has found itself indirectly involved in another controversy after documents signed by city officials in Baguio City allowing the opening of an electronic bingo parlor were found to be erroneous.
The documents, which were “endorsed” by Mayor Mauricio Domogan, indicated that the city did not object to the opening of the bingo parlor last year. But the documents have now been deemed a “misrepresentation of the city government’s position.”
Vice Mayor Edison Bilog revealed earlier this week that the resolution, dated March 25, 2014, was actually fake and contained forged signatures from Bilog himself.
According to a separate document, Domogan wrote to PAGCOR chair Cristino Naguiat Jr on April 14, 2014, endorsing the company’s application to operate e-bingo in Baguio. Such a document is required to be submitted to PAGCOR, although gaming applicants could also attach forms of certificates of no objections from communities in the event actual certifications can’t be produced. Domogan was reportedly misled into believing that the resolution was legitimate.
Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda claimed the resolution, which carried a note that read “duly received by the council,” was never actually approved by the city council. Tabanda pointed out that the date the resolution supposedly passed couldn’t have happened because that was a Tuesday and the city council holds its regular sessions on Mondays.
Fellow councilor Richard Cariño backed up his colleague’s statements, saying the proposed resolution to bring an e-bingo parlor to Baguio never got off the ground.
While not explicitly calling out the operator, Vice Mayor Bilog did say that the operator of this parlor, a Laguna-based company, was tasked to come up with the certificate that has since been questioned by the city council.
In the meantime, councilor Tabanda has filed a draft resolution seeking to stop the city from renewing the business permit of the operator because of the allegedly shady documents. Bilog stressed that the council would also alert PAGCOR of the illegal documents submitted by the operator.