Gatchalian hits Pagcor for questionable 3rd party auditor

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 23) – Gaming regulatory officials received a dressing down in the Senate over a questionable multi billion-peso auditing contract.

At a Senate hearing on Monday, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian grilled Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) after it bared a ₱6-billion contract for Global ComRCI to audit gross gaming revenues of offshore gaming operators in 2017.

Photos presented during the hearing, however, showed that instead of office space, a house was instead built at the address submitted by Global ComRCI to the regulator.

"This supposedly office was the basis to approve the third party auditor but nowhere can this be an office of a credible third-party auditor," Gatchalian said.

He said while Global ComRCI seemed to meet the ₱1-billion operating capital requirement, it was certified by a certain Soleil Chartered Bank which was not registered with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

"Modus seems to be they issue some sort of guarantee, bank guarantee or letter of credit. Supplier will sell based on that guarantee," he said. "Either nabudol kayo or nagpabudol kayo [Either you were deceived or you let them deceive you]."

In response, Pagcor said it will look into the issue and get Global ComRCI's side. The company did not send a representative to the hearing.

Gatchalian said some offshore gaming operators and former Pagcor officials were potential accomplices in hiring Global ComRCI.

CNN Philippines Correspondent Eimor Santos contributed to this report.