Gatchalian: Contract between PAGCOR, Global ComRCI should be terminated asap

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian on Sunday, February 19 said the contract between the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) should immediately be canceled following the denial of New York-based Soleil Chartered Bank's (SCB) that it issued a bank certificate for the third party auditor contracted by the state gaming regulator for Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).

"The contract between PAGCOR and Global ComRCI should be terminated immediately,” Gatchalian said, citing a letter dated February 13, 2023 addressed to him by Soleil, the bank that purportedly issued a bank guarantee in favor of Global ComRCI.

The letter, he said, contains an outright denial from Soleil stating that “to dispel any doubt whatsoever, SCB would like to make record that it did not issue the questioned bank certification dated June 15, 2017.”

It can be recalled that during the Senate Committee on Ways and Means hearing on the issue, PAGCOR presented a bank guarantee purportedly issued by Soleil to Global ComRCI in the amount of $25-million in compliance with a capital requirement set by PAGCOR in contracting an independent auditor for POGOs.

Global ComRCI then won a P6-billion, 10-year contract with PAGCOR to audit the revenue of POGOs.

The senator also noted the letter further stated that SCB does not have within its records any accounts under the name Global ComRCI as such entity is not a client of the bank.

In its letter, SCB also claimed it does not engage in banking business, it does not have an office in the Philippines, and its supposed office address in the Philippines is spurious.

During the last hearing, the bank document presented by PAGCOR officials bore the office address Suite 2704A West Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange Center, Exchange Road, Ortigas Commercial Center, Pasig City.

“The letter I received from Soleil was signed by Govind Srivastava and Balwinder Kaur," he said.

"But if we look back on our past hearings, the bank guarantee from Soliel that was presented by PAGCOR was also signed by Govind Srivastava,” Gatchalian pointed out.

“The bank guarantee submitted by the third party contractor to PAGCOR is clearly a fake one," the lawmaker stressed.

"Because of this, the declared income of the POGOs is questionable because it appears that the audit process has no credibility,” he stressed.