PAGCOR vows to ‘uncover the truth’ over missing bond issue


Alejandro Tengco, Chair of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, has welcomed a series of charges that were levelled against himself, and nine others, over the perceived disappearance of a PHP75m performance related bond.

Following a series of local media reports, Tengco said that he embraced the filing of charges, which include malversation of public funds, qualified theft and falsification of private and commercial documents, by an e-sabong (cockfighting) company.

Case of the missing bond

The case was filed by Joaquin Sy, Chair of the Board and Chief Finance Officer of Kamura Highlands Gaming and Holdings, who asserts that he personally posted the bond at PAGCOR’s Manila office.

These, he said, were made through two managers’ checks and were drawn from his personal account, and allegedly saw official receipts and documentation issued.

Complications emerged, it is suggested upon e-sabong operations being halted by then President Rodrigo Duterte, following which, Sy noted that he wrote to former PAGCOR Chief Andrea Domingo seeking the bond’s withdrawal.

After receiving a lack of response, Sy added he followed up his request, to no avail, several times up to July 20, 2023.

Subsequently, he said that he was later told that a check for the same amount had been issued in favour of another individual, which he was informed had been immediately cashed.

Sy maintains that an illegal release of cash was undertaken, and that government accounting procedures dictate that the original copy of the receipts must be returned.

Tengco to determine accountability

Tengco noted that he will be taking the allegations seriously, as well as pursuing an investigation into himself, despite the alleged illegal actions coming under the incumbency of the aforementioned previous Chief.

“While we find it strange that we are included in the alleged charges, we nevertheless will pursue our own investigation and determine what really happened, and bring the perpetrators to justice if indeed there was any anomaly,” Tengco said. It is added that this represents an opportunity to uncover the truth and determine accountability.

Among the other individuals charged alongside Tengco and Domingo and Gabriel Claudio are Carmen Pedrosa, Reynaldo Concordia and James Patrick Bondoc and current PAGCOR officer Dianne Erica Jogno.

“We have launched an internal investigation and we are trying to recreate the sequence of events since the department allegedly involved, the e-sabong licensing department, has already been disbanded,” Tengco added.

“Former President Duterte outlawed e-sabong in May 2022 and the people in the e-sabong licensing department have since been reassigned to other units so now we are trying to retrace the supposed anomalous transaction.

“While this happened before we came to PAGCOR, the public can rest assured that we will get to the bottom of this, and that we will respond to the accusations against us in the proper venue once we receive a copy of the alleged charges from the ombudsman.”