Charges dismissed against former PAGCOR VP of treasury and finance

The court found insufficient evidence.
The court found insufficient evidence.

Estela Pelayo Ramos had been accused of favouring a private contractor in a series of transactions totalling PHP120.24m.

The Philippines.- The case against Estela Pelayo Ramos, former vice president of finance and treasury at the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), has been dismissed by the Sandiganbayan court. The court ruled that there was a lack of sufficient evidence.

The Ombudsman’s Office had accused Pelayo Ramos of favouring BIDA Productions in a series of transactions totalling PHP120.24m between October 2005 and October 2009. However, the court found that all payment requests made to BIDA Productions were sent through various offices in PAGCOR and had the approval of the heads of those offices before they reached Ramos.

The payments had been communicated in a series of memos from PAGCOR’s head of corporate communications, Edward King, to then chairman and CEO, Efraim Genuino.

According to Rappler, the court stated: “There is absolutely nothing from the records of these cases that demonstrates that accused Ramos had a role in the selection of BIDA Production/Foundation Inc., as the project partner of PAGCOR.”

Philippines revisits proposal to privatise PAGCOR gaming operations

As previously reported by Focus Gaming News, the Philippines’ Governance Commission for Government-Owned or Controlled Corporations (GCG) is again pushing for the government to separate PAGCOR’s dual functions by privatising its gaming operations.

PAGCOR currently regulates, authorises and licenses gaming in the Philippines but it also operates over 40 casinos itself. In 2018, the GCG had recommended to the then-president Rodrigo Roa Duterte that PAGCOR’s commercial and regulatory functions be separated due to the conflict of interests caused by its dual role. The Duterte administration didn’t take up the recommendations at the time.

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