Casino chips worth P20M lost - Tuesday 12th of April 2005

An estimated P20-million worth of casino chips are missing from several branches of Casino Filipino, Rep. Imee Marcos of Ilocos Norte said on Saturday.

Marcos, who filed House Resolution 657, wants the House committee on legislative franchises to investigate the report reaching her office.

Executives of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) should explain before a congressional committee why the chips are missing.

Marcos, a member of the Commission on Appointments, said the missing chips could be used in cheating the government of millions of pesos.

Marcos said any person who is in possession of the missing chips can easily redeem them in any branch of Casino Filipino.

"Anyone can just come and convert it into cash," Marcos said.

Marcos said the investigation should also cover the "highly questionable" transactions of Pagcor, such as the P664.8-million rental of suites at the Waterfront Hotels in Mactan and Cebu, the acquisition of P236.45-million worth of condominium units at the Coastal Plaza Condominium in the 3-hectare land purchased from Xanland Properties, Inc., valued at P24 million.

She said Pagcor officials "conveniently failed to explain the details of the transactions."

"The objective of the congressional inquiry is to ensure that Pagcor performs strict adherence to its franchise and to ascertain whether public funds had been misappropriated," Marcos said.

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