Former Pagcor chief denies getting gifts from Okada | Global News

Former Pagcor chief denies getting gifts from Okada

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 02:59 AM February 23, 2012

Efraim Genuino

Former Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) chairman Efraim Genuino rebutted the accusations of US casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd. that he received bribes from a Japanese gambling mogul when he was still at the helm of the state-run gaming firm.

Speaking through his lawyer Ramon Esguerra, Genuino said he did not visit any establishments owned by American casino tycoon Steve Wynn during the period that Kazuo Okada purportedly provided travel and hotel accommodations to Pagcor officials.


“He has not gone out of the country since 2008, according to him. The records of the BI (Bureau of Immigration) will bear him out,” Esguerra told reporters.


Asked if Genuino received other gifts from Okada, he said: “Nothing. He did not receive anything.”

He said if the former Pagcor chairman got any favors from Okada, it was made through  “reciprocal arrangements of one casino to another.”

“Even the Palace is now downplaying that fact. The Palace says there’s nothing wrong with reciprocal arrangements,” Esguerra said.

Quoting Genuino, Esguerra said it was Pagcor chairman Cristino Naguiat Jr., then holding another position in the government-owned gaming firm, who visited the Wynn casino in Las Vegas in 2008 along with other Pagcor officials.

Interestingly, Okada’s Aruze Corp. was the source of  3,500 sacks of donated rice which were purportedly diverted to bolster the mayoral campaigns of Genuino’s two sons during the May 2010 elections.

Aruze was awarded by Pagcor with a contract to build a hotel-resort complex inside the 12-hectare Pagcor Entertainment City on Manila Bay during Genuino’s incumbency.


The donations were part of the 300 metric tons of first-class Thailand rice worth P1.4 million which Aruze gave to the  government after Typhoon “Frank” hit the country in June 2008.

Malversation rap

On July 18, 2011, Pagcor filed malversation of public funds charges against Genuino, his sons Anthony and Erwin, former Pagcor corporate communications chief Edward “Dodie” King and Miraflor Tado, a former official of Trace Computer College that the Genuinos purportedly own.

Instead of being distributed to typhoon victims, the donated rice was supposedly repacked into smaller 5-kilogram sacks printed with the names and faces of Erwin and Anthony, who both used the catchphrase “Ang Bagong Mukha” (The New Face) as their campaign slogan.

The repacked rice was then allegedly distributed in Los Baños, Laguna province, and Makati City to aid the mayoral bids of Genuino’s sons.

Erwin, a former Pagcor counsel, lost the mayoral race in Makati City to Jun-jun Binay, son of then Mayor and now Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Erwin’s younger brother, Anthony, won in Los Baños, amid allegations that he was not a resident of the town.

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Originally posted at 06:05 pm | Wednesday, February 22,  2012

TAGS: Bribery, Efraim Genuino, Graft and corruption, Kazuo Okada, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., Steve Wynn

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