Senate inquiry sought on Pagcor charter-A A +A
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
A SENATOR has filed a resolution seeking an inquiry into the implementation of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation's (Pagcor) charter in response to a viral video showing Land Transportation Office Chief Virginia Torres playing in a casino.
"They should face sanctions and penalties," said Senator Francis Escudero after he filed Senate Resolution 208.
Escudero said that it is about time that officials and employees will take Presidential Decree (PD) 1869 issued by the Executive department seriously. The decree prohibits elected and appointed public officials from patronizing gambling casinos.
The senator aims to ban a whole gamut of officials including the President, the Vice President, all Cabinet members and officials of various agencies, military and police officials as well as senators, congressmen and local officials from governors to barangay tanods from entering casinos.
Escudero said that it is very clear under PD 1869 that government officials connected directly with the operation of the government or any of its agencies including member of the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces are not allowed to play or stay at casinos.
The present law, according to the senator, has no teeth because it missed out on the penal provision that would have made the law enforceable and not prone to violation.
Torres, whose video became viral online, will be retiring from government service by end of October but Escudero maintained Senate will proceed with its investigation considering that many government officials, including members of the police and military, had been visibly, staying and playing in various gambling casinos.
Earlier Malacanang reminded all government officials to observe Memorandum Circular 8 issued by the Office of the President in 2001, which prohibits heads of agencies and departments from staying or playing in casinos.
The circular mandates "all heads of departments, bureaus and offices, government-owned or controlled corporations and local governments, including the PNP (Philippine National Police) and AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), to remind officials and employees under them regarding this prohibition and to impose the appropriate sanctions and penalties in case of violation thereof."
Escudero also said that PD 1869 needs to be amended to provide specific penalty for the violation of the ban.
Escudero said, it is an open secret that so many government officials, military and police officers are frequent clients of casinos but a stiffer penalties, he insist would answer the clamor to bring back high ethical standards and morality in government. (Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex)