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HomeNewsPhilippinesPAGCOR: former presidential spokesperson lobbying for illegal POGOs

PAGCOR: former presidential spokesperson lobbying for illegal POGOs

The POGO hub in question was raided twice last month by authorities for allegations including human trafficking, torture, and scams.

As reported by Philstar, PAGCOR chief Alejandro H. Tengco disclosed that Roque appeared before his office in July 2023 to provide legal support for Cassandra Lee Ong, who sought assistance from PAGCOR regarding financial issues at Lucky South 99. Ong serves as the authorized representative of the sprawling POGO compound in Porac, Pampanga.

Ong requested PAGCOR to permit Lucky South 99 to settle its outstanding taxes in installments, estimated by Tengco to be no less than $500,000, notes the publication.

Tengco stated that, in her appeal, Ong alleged being deceived by Dennis Cunanan, who purportedly collected six months’ worth of tax payments on behalf of Ong but failed to remit them to PAGCOR. Cunanan reportedly is the person who applied for the POGO license of Lucky South 99.

The revelation was made during the Senate Women and Gender Equality Committee’s fourth hearing, which discussed the possibility of banning POGOs in the country, as well as the case involving POGO Mayor Alice Guo.

Harry Roque is a former Cabinet official under then-President Rodrigo Duterte, who facilitated the issuance of licenses to POGO hubs.

According to local media outlet, Tengco displayed the organizational chart including the documents submitted by Lucky South 99 for their initial license application, which identified Harry Roque as the “legal head.”

In a video statement posted Wednesday afternoon, Roque denied the accusations, clarifying that he has never had a lawyer-client relationship with Lucky South 99. 

He emphasized that, when he assisted in their license reapplication in 2023, the POGO hub had not yet been flagged as illegal. Roque further stated that he did not authorize his inclusion in the POGO hub’s organizational chart.

Viviana Chan
Viviana Chan
Viviana Chan is an editor, interpreter, and journalist. With over a decade of experience, she writes in English, Chinese, and Portuguese. Viviana started her career in Macau-based newspapers, where she became passionate about the region's social, financial, and cultural development. Her writing focuses on the economy, emerging industries, gaming development, political affairs, and cross cultural-exchange in the business and cultural domains. She is avid for news and eager to discover and cover stories that generate public relevance.



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