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Pagcor chief denies getting bribe offer from Lam.

Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) chair and chief executive officer Andrea Domingo on Thursday denied receiving any bribe offer from gambling mogul Jack Lam.

This was contrary to Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II's earlier reported statement that Domingo herself had told him that Lam allegedly tried to offer her a 1-percent cut from his earnings at the Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino at Clark, Pampanga to allow its operations to continue while still applying for a license.

Domingo told the Senate blue ribbon committee that she had met with Lam three times at her office but only to discuss the 1-percent tax that Fontana had been paying to the government.

'Hindi ko po nakikilala si Wally Sombero. Si Jack Lam po, nakipag meeting po sa amin pero tungkol po sa Fontana. Masyadong mababa yung binabayaran nya sa kontarata at hinihimok namin na sya ay magbayad ng kasinglaki ng ibinabayad ng ibang locators sa Clark,' she told the Senate blue ribbon committee when asked by Senator Joel Villanueva if Lam or any of his representatives had attempted to offer bribe to her.

(I haven't met Wally Sombero. We had a meeting with Jack Lam but it was about Fontana. His payment in the contract was too low and we were encouraging him to pay as much as the other locators at Clark.)

It was the first time that the Pagcor chief appeared before the committee investigating the alleged P50-million bribery scandal at the Bureau of Immigration.

Domingo said she believes that Fontana's contract was 'onerous' to the government, which she said was losing an estimated P13.9 billion when they compared the taxes being paid by other locators in Clark.

She said Pagcor was not involved in a raid conducted by law enforcers at Lam's casino last November.

Pressed again by Villanueva if Lam's camp had tried to talk to her and offered her brine, the Pagcor chief said: 'Wala po akong nakausap dito tungkol dito sa isyu ng illegal gambling (I didn't talk to anyone about the issue of illegal gambling).'

'Si Jack Lam po talaga. Sa office po namin nag-meet kami ng three times at kasama ko po yung aming legal (Jack Lam and I met three times with our legal)' Domingo added.

Aguirre was also present in the hearing when the Pagcor chief was asked about the former's own allegation.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Feb 9, 2017
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