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Gambling lord puts NBI in spot

JUSTICE Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Thursday ordered an investigation on five NBI agents who are the alleged protectors of gambling lord Charlie “Atong” Ang, who is being probed by Bureau of Internal Revenue for possible tax evasion.

He said his office had received information that the five agents had long been Ang’s moles in the National Bureau of Investigation.

“He has NBI agents protecting him, and I already know those agents,” Aguirre said.

“I’m having them investigated and we will make the proper moves.”

Aguirre also said Ang would stage an “ambush me” stunt over the weekend to justify Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s call for a Senate inquiry on the  alleged plot to kill Ang.

He said Ang would set up a fake ambush on himself and then blame him and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon.

“I received reliable information that this weekend someone will stage an ‘ambush me’ and pin the blame on me and Secretary Esperon,” Aguirre said.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II
“This staged ambush will be used by a senator [Trillanes] to justify his call for a Senate inquiry.”

Ang earlier accused Aguirre and Esperon of plotting to kill him to eliminate his Meridien Vista Gaming Corp. and expand the government’s small-town lottery.

Ang has also accused Aguirre’s brother Ogie of involvement in the small-town lottery and of pressuring officials in Bicol to drop their contracts with Meridien and forge new deals with him.

Aguirre again denied the allegations and vowed to press charges against Ang.

“His only evidence was a phone call while he was cockfighting in Cagayan De Oro who told him that he should leave because someone is out to kill him. How can that be evidence? That’s hearsay,  Aguirre  said.

He denied Ang’s insinuation the his brother Ogie was involved in the small-town lottery and had been threatening local officials to drop their deals with Meridien.

“That’s not true. He [Ogie] is not applying for [an] STL [franchise]. Atong Ang should present evidence if he has any,” Aguirre said.

For now, he said, Ang should face the BIR investigation.

“All his gambling operations are illegal,” Aguirre said. 

“He should prove if he’s paying the right taxes. His invincibility is gone.”

Aguirre believes Ang is retaliating after he led a raid on Fontana Leisure Park that busted the billion-peso online illegal gambling operation that was being run by Ang’s business partner and best friend Jack Lam. 

“The motive is very clear,” Aguirre said. 

“He wants to retaliate because I ordered the closure of the illegal gambling operations of Jack Lam where he [Ang] admitted serving as a consultant.”

Topics: Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II , NBI agents , Charlie “Atong” Ang , Bureau of Internal Revenue , Tax evasion
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