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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Harry Roque helped Porac POGO reapply for license — PAGCOR

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Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Chairperson Alejandro Tengco named former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque as the Cabinet official who helped a recently raided Philippine offshore gaming operator (POGO) in Porac, Pampanga reapply for a license.

Testifying during the hearing of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, Tengco related that sometime on July 26, 2023, Roque, along with Cassandra Lee Ong, visited him in his office in Ermita, Manila.

Roque requested him to help Ong in her problem after being gypped by Dennis Cunanan, former Deputy Director of Technology and Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC).

Ong said she gave $500,000 to Cunanan, her authorized representative, to pay PAGCOR their taxes for 6 months. However, she got a letter from lawyer Jessa Fernandez, head of PAGCOR Licensing Division, exacting payment of their arrears for six months.

Roque also asked Tengco to help Ong in her reapplication for license set to expire in October 2023.

Since then, Tengco said Roque did not make any follow-up nor even pressure him.   

Fernandez said Roque followed up with her three times on the application, but in a “nice way.”

In a statement, Roque vehemently denied media reports claiming that Tengco allegedly said he represented an illegal POGO.

“As clearly stated by Tengco in today’s Senate hearing, I requested a rescheduling of arrears payment of a lessee and principal of my client Whirlwind Corporation. My client is a service provider to Lucky South, then a holder of a valid license from PAGCOR,” Roque said.  

Furthermore, he added that Sen. Risa Hontiveros’ conclusion that he lied when he claimed in the media that he is Whirlwind’s counsel is bereft of merit.

“I clarify that I did not consent to nor was I informed of my name’s inclusion in any submission by Lucky South with PAGCOR concerning license renewal,” Roque said.

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