Conduct Unbecoming? Charlie “Atong” Ang? Plunder? Illegal Gambling?

Repost

Plunder and false tax declaration are actions that robs the public of its social funds.

  • I do not really approved of involuntary taxes of any kind
    • (birth certificate, real estate tax, income tax, corporate tax, license permit, death certificate, etc.)
  • Voluntary donations are the lifeblood of churches, charity foundations, non-profits, etc.
  • Maybe in the near future, governments from all over the world will rely on voluntary donations instead of taxes.

Rizal Day (December 30)

Voluntarily, Jose Rizal fought the oppressive colonizers with his ideas of social reforms by writings his novels and forming civic movement known as La Liga Filipina. Jose Rizal, at 35 years old, was executed December 30, 1896 by a squad of FILIPINO SOLDIERS of the Spanish Army.

Jose Rizal was not married to any woman. His first cousin Leonor Rivera was his first and real love from the time he (age 19) met her (age 13). They wrote love letters to each other for many (6?) years. But Leonor’s catholic parents did not approved because her parents are catholic.

  • (Sectarianism, according to one definition, is bigotry, discrimination, or hatred arising from attaching importance to perceived differences between subdivisions within a group, such as between different denominations of a religion, etc.).

Even the last woman in his life Josephine Bracken is not married to him because he is NOT a catholic. It was said that on the day of his execution, the catholic church (finally agreed to) wed Jose Rizal and Josephine Bracken.

Voluntarily, Andres Bonifacio fought the oppressive colonizers thru armed struggle and forming revolutionary government the Katipunan. Andres Bonifacio, at 33 years old, was executed May 10, 1897 by FILIPINO ASSASSINS of Emilio Aguinaldo.

  • (The first elitist filipino killing the first common filipino.)

Andres Bonifacio, a freemason, was married to Gregoria de Jesus whose father is against their marriage because he is NOT catholic.

What if?

  • Filipinos will voluntarily fight for freedom of each other and the rest of mankind.
  • Filipinos will voluntarily be of service to each other and the rest of mankind.
  • Filipinos will voluntarily live simple life dedicated to knowledge and technology.
  • Filipinos will voluntarily be like Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio and NOT be like Emilio Aguinaldo.

Personally, my views:

  • Anything illegal is good business for politicians and government officials where they get commission fee which serves as bribe money.

Gambling is an industry. Tax it, if possible.

  • Most business owners, of any kind of business, employ certified accountants to falsify tax declarations.
  • Some businesses do not even have a financial system to honestly register any sales revenue etc.  so that taxes can be honestly computed.
  • Small Town Lottery (STL) is the legal form of Jueteng, but no one wants to pay taxes voluntarily.

Philippine Tax Laws are complex and full of loopholes.

  • Some corporations, after deductions, have a zero tax due.
    • Thus, lower tax rate than a common office employee.
  • The government give tax break to corporations.
    • Economic Zone
  • The government accepts settlements instead of full payment of tax due from individuals and corporations alike.

Charlie “Atong” Ang

Atong Ang is a known gambler, who entered the limelight in the world of Philippine cockfighting sports as a financier of cockfighting teams in the big time competitions, called derbies, with pot money of PHP 55,000-110,000 or more. With Atong Ang’s success in cockfighting sports, he and others recently formed a sports league called “Ultimate Fighting Cock Championship“.

– Gameness til the End

Charlie ‘Atong’ Ang 

January 26, 2007 11:33am

Charlie “Atong” Ang was a close associate of former President Joseph Estrada. He is a co-accused in the plunder case against Estrada, the latter’s son Sen. Jose “Jinggoy,” and lawyer Edward Serapio.

On January 24, 2007, he withdrew his “not guilty plea” before the Sandiganbayan and admitted that he bribed a public official.

He gained notoriety in 1998 after being seen on a videotape with the then Vice President Estrada at the Casino Filipino at the Heritage Hotel.

During Estrada’s term, he became a consultant of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) on jai alai operations. PAGCOR reportedly paid his company, Power Management and Consultancy, P500,000 a day, excluding bonuses.

As Pagcor’s “consultant” on Bingo 2-Ball–a legalized form of jueteng–Ang decided to award the Bingo 2-Ball franchise in Ilocos Sur to former Rep. Eric Singson, Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson’s cousin and long-time foe. This angered Chavit Singson, who made the Juetengate expose that led to Estrada’s downfall.

Ang told a Senate hearing in October 2000 that Prominent Management and Marketing, one of his other companies, is a “consultant” of Pagcor on Bingo 2-Ball.

He became chief executive officer of Fontana Resort and Country Club, which according to Singson is co-owned by Estrada. He has been known in illegal gambling circles as a masiao operator in Mindanao, according to former PNP chief Roberto Lastimoso.

He fled the country on January 20, 2001, the day Estrada was ousted from Malacañang. Ang reportedly took a Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong.

He was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 25, 2001 in connection with the Philippine government’s request for his extradition.

A year later, he was freed on a $300,000 bail and placed under house arrest.

Judge Lawrence Leavitt of the US District Court in Nevada ruled on September 18, 2006 that Ang should be extradited to the Philippines to face plunder charges against him.

The US State Department reportedly sent a diplomatic note dated October 6, asking the Philippine government to repatriate Ang not later than November 11, 2006.

Atong Ang arrived in Manila in November 10, 2006. He was in handcuffs, escorted by Reynaldo Esmeralda, deputy director of the National Bureau of Investigation, whose team fetched Ang in the US.

Sources: PCIJ, GMA News, GMANews.tv, INQ7, PIA, Newsflash.org, Filipino Express, Manila Times

PNP raids Atong Ang’s betting stations in Laguna, Metro Manila

By: Philippine News Agency
July 14, 2011 6:20 AM

Charlie “Atong” Ang. AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE FILE PHOTO

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines – Elements of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday raided illegal off-fronton betting stations for jai alai reportedly operated by controversial personality Charlie “Atong” Ang.

PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz said a joint memorandum of the Department of Justice (DoJ) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) emboldened their operatives to go after the betting stations which actually are being used as fronts for the illegal numbers game “jueteng”.

Cruz said raids were also carried out in Metro Manila, Ilocos-Pangasinan region, Cagayan region and San Pablo City conducted by Camp Crame-based Criminal Investigation and Detection Group agents and members of the National Capital Region Police Office and the Special Action Force based in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.

The legality of the raids may be questioned as these run counter to a 72-hour temporary restraining order (TRO) earlier issued by Pasay City Regional Trial Court Judge Pedro Corales stopping the implementation of the joint memorandum of the DoJ and the DILG.

PNP OIS agents nab 6 of Atong Ang’s men for operating jueteng in Rizal

Published: May 11, 2011. Latest update: May 12, 2011 1:03 pm.

A May 11, 2011 press release by the Department of the Interior and Local GovernmentOperatives of the PNP Office of Internal Security under the office of the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government on Sunday arrested six persons working in a firm reportedly owned by former President Estrada’s gambling consultant, Atong Ang for allegedly engaging in jueteng operations in Bgy. San Jose, Rodriguez, Rizal.In a report to DILG Secretary Jesse M. Robredo, PNP OIS chief Supt. Walfredo Pornillos identified the six arrested suspects as Generoso R. Perez, Ignacio A. Jacobe, Rosalio L. Aragon, Eric M. Mendoza, Henry E. Cabrillos and Erwin G. Castillo.

During interrogation, the six suspects claimed they are operating legally as they are employees of the Ang-owned Meredien Vista Gaming Corporation (MVGC), an alleged Jai-Alai franchise holder based in Sitio Racat, Sta. Ana, Cagayan.

Pornillos said the suspects averred that they were operating through cellular phones and getting the results of their Jai-Alai games online from Cagayan and collecting bets from bettors in Rodriguez town.

“But during our raid of their office in Bgy. San Jose, their computers were suspiciously offline. Their papelitos (bet collection paper) indicates numbers from 1 to 37 indicating they were not collecting Jai-Alai bets. And they are collecting bets purportedly for Jai-Alai three times a day which is not possibly true,” he said.

“Examination of the mechanics of the game played by the suspects, including the numbers involved in the prize for the winning bets, also revealed that they were very much similar to jueteng,” he added.

During the raid conducted last May 8 and witnessed by Barangay Kagawad Ireneo Mirafuentes Jr., the PNP OIS team recovered various gambling paraphernalia, including papelitos with MVGC letterhead, computers, and cash bet collection amounting to P2,000.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) have earlier both denied ever granting permits or franchise to the MVGC to put up frontons or betting stations for on-line Jai-Alai operations.

Jose Mari Ponce, administrator of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) which initially gave MVGC a license agreement to “operate (on-line gaming) only within CEZA and Freeport Zone in Cagayan,” had issued a cease and desist order to the MVGC.

The Office of Government Corporate Counsel, Ponce said, has issued an opinion that CEZA can not grant licenses to operate Jai-Alai fronts since this franchise had been given to the Philippine Jai-Alai and Amusement Gaming Corporation under Presidential Decree 810.

Early this year, the DILG ordered a review of the MVGC’s activity in the provinces of Albay, Sorsogon, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte following reports that the gambling outfit was operating as a jueteng front disguised as PCSO-authorized Small Town Lottery (STL) gaming outlet.

Pornillos said charges of illegal gambling under Republic Act 9287, an act increasing the penalties for illegal numbers game, amending provisions of Presidential Decree 1602, had been filed against the suspects before the Rizal Prosecutors Office in Antipolo City.

dilg.gov.ph

Atong Ang behind ‘jueteng’ comeback

Sep 19, 2010 12:41pm HKT

KNOWN gambling operator Atong Ang is reportedly behind the controversy surrounding the illegal numbers game jueteng and has been bankrolling a media campaign to discredit government officials allegedly receiving payola from the racket.

Police intelligence officials said Atong “is orchestrating the sudden noise on jueteng.”   This time, he’s using Interior Jesse Robredo to “sensationalize jueteng by naming officials involved in the gambling scheme.”

“Whenever jueteng is raised and media sensationalizes, with the help of congressional investigations, Atong comes in with

his candy-coated STL proposal. STL is nothing but a legal cover for jueteng,” the police official base in Camp Crame said.

The police official said that in Cavite, Atong reportedly collects P2 million daily but only half a million goes to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

“The same skimming-off-the-top method is used by Atong in Cagayan, Camarines  Norte, some parts of Luzon and in Mindanao. Under the law, the net  income in STL is divided among the government officials,” the police official, who is also a lawyer by profession, explained.

Ang was reportedly was rewarded with an STL license by the PCSO after he was pardoned. Using former President Arroyo as his connection, Atong was able to flourish with his jueteng-cum-STL operations.

The official said Atong penetrated Bicol thru Robredo’s cousin in law, Alex Tang, first-degree cousin of Mrs. Leni Robredo.

Another gambling lord, Bong Pineda, strongly resisted the STL scheme of Atong, that’s why Pampanga and Bulacan  remain the exclusive turf of  Pineda. The Singsons of Ilocos Sur also blocked  Atong’s STL scheme.

“Now comes the Aquino administration pressured against the jueteng issue, Atong  saw the opening and played footsie with Robredo,” the police official said.  Anthony Vargas

Aquino aide a ‘jueteng king’

Bishop: Puno gets P8M per month

By Christian V. Esguerra, Gil C. Cabacungan Jr.
Inquirer Northern Luzon, Central Luzon Desk
First Posted 00:40:00 09/22/2010

MANILA, Philippines?Interior Undersecretary Rico E. Puno, a close friend of President Aquino?s, was identified Tuesday as one of the two ?ultimate recipients? of payola from operators of ?jueteng,? an illegal numbers racket, allegedly getting up to P8 million a month.

To spare Mr. Aquino from further embarrassment, several senators urged Puno to either take a leave of absence or resign from his post.

Puno and retired Philippine National Police Director General Jesus Verzosa were named the top beneficiaries of jueteng money, according to a list Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz submitted to the three Senate committees jointly investigating the illegal numbers game.

Puno, Verzosa and retired Senior Supt. Rey Cachuela were collectively known as the ?Three Kings? on the list, a copy of which was obtained by the Inquirer last week.

The list showed that Puno and Verzosa were allegedly receiving every month P5 million to P8 million each in exchange for allowing jueteng operations to continue.

Cachuela allegedly collected on behalf of the ?Three Kings? from a certain Elly Fontanilla, their point man on the ground. Fontanilla reportedly replaced a certain Boy Tangkad who was gunned down last year.

Since July

In an interview with the Inquirer on Sunday, Cruz, head of the People?s Crusade Against Jueteng, said Puno began getting jueteng payola soon after he assumed office two months ago.

Asked why Puno was supposedly getting only between P5 million and P8 million, Cruz said: ?He?s just new.?

The archbishop said his information was based on reports collected from his group?s network covering all 86 dioceses in the country.

At the hearing, Cruz said, ?I have here the list of alleged jueteng operators, payola recipients.?

Jueteng operators

The list identified as jueteng operators Gov. Lilia Pineda for Pampanga, Gov. Amado Espino for Pangasinan, Paul Dy for Isabela, retired Chief Supt. Eugene Martin and Mayor Mauricio Domogan for Baguio, Danny Soriano for Cagayan Valley, Boy Jalandoni for Bacolod, and retired Chief Supt. Ricardo Padilla for San Pedro, Laguna, and Pasay, Parañaque and Muntinlupa?all in Metro Manila.

Verzosa, who was in Singapore, promptly issued a statement through lawyer Benjamin de los Santos ?vehemently? denying any involvement in the underground lottery.

In contrast, Puno took several minutes and needed some urging from senators to categorically deny his involvement in jueteng activities. ?Yes, I deny receiving any money, payola from jueteng,? he said.

Ready to step down

Puno later told reporters he was willing to step down in the face of the allegations.

?I already told him (Mr. Aquino) that if I?m already a burden to you, you may let me go,? he said in Filipino.

Double whammy

Sen. Miguel Zubiri said Puno?s inclusion in the list of jueteng protectors submitted by Cruz gave him a ?double whammy? after being named among those culpable in the bungled rescue of Hong Kong tourists held hostage by a dismissed policeman.

?That?s strike two. He has to go. He doesn?t have to wait for strike three, especially since they are friends,? Zubiri said.

Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said it would be ?more practical? for Puno to take a leave of absence to lift the burden from the President.

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada does not see how Puno could salvage his reputation by staying on his post. ?He?s too hot to handle right now,? said Estrada in an interview.

Cruz initially wanted to reveal the contents of the list in executive session. But he later agreed to senators? suggestion that he submit a copy to the joint committees and have Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, chair of the blue ribbon committee, read the names.

P30-billion industry

Puno said jueteng operations involve around P30 billion in sales annually. Small Town Lottery (STL)?which was envisioned to wipe out jueteng?earned only P9.5 billion from March 2006 to August 2010, according to Romualdo Quiñones of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

?Can you stop jueteng?? Majority Leader Sen. Vicente ?Tito? Sotto III asked the newly appointed PNP Director General Raul Bacalzo, who replied: ?Yes.?

Bacalzo said, ?illegal gambling activities may stop particularly in instances where law enforcement units conduct renewed and intensified efforts.?

?But for how long? That?s the quandary we are facing. Temporarily we can. But the PNP cannot do it alone to stop it permanently,? he added.

Questioned by Sen. Gregorio Honasan, Cruz said it was easy to stop jueteng.

?Jueteng has only two feet?the local public official and local police official,? he said. ?If these two agree that no jueteng operations will be allowed, believe it or not, they will be gone.?

Laundering via US boxing

Cruz also revealed that jueteng operators were using boxing matches in the United States as an opportunity to launder money from the underground lottery. He did not elaborate.

Puno came under fire for refusing to identify the so-called ?friends and local officials? who had offered to arrange a meeting between him and known jueteng operators.

Governor Pineda

It took several questions before Puno yielded and said that one of the alleged jueteng lords seeking a meeting with him was Governor Pineda of Pampanga.

?I don?t meet with these people because I know my position and my closeness to (Mr. Aquino) and if I agree to meet with them, even secretly, (the President) would be linked to me,? he said.

PNP watch list

Puno said he did not want to name the people seeking an audience with him because they were supposedly on the PNP watch list?a document Bacalzo himself was not aware of.

?If we divulge their names, the investigation will lose its meaning,? he said. ?They will be guarded already and (revealing the names would) destroy months of surveillance.?

Puno claimed he had also prepared a ?paper? on jueteng, which senators doubted considering the quality of his answers at the hearing.

?You came with a paper. You must know every nook and corner of it, unless you are just bluffing that you wrote a paper,? Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile told him.

The senators were unhappy with Puno?s answers. ?We would just like to convey to you the sense of the body here that we are very disappointed with the quality of your answers,? Guingona said.

Denials

The local officials linked by Cruz to jueteng in northern and central Luzon denied protecting the operators of the illegal numbers game or receiving protection money from them.

Pineda said she respected the opinion of Cruz but urged him that instead of criticizing her, he should join and help her improve the lives of her constituents.

Pineda?s husband, Rodolfo ?Bong? Pineda, ?runs STL now,? Cruz said. In the 2000 Senate investigation of jueteng operations, Bong Pineda was identified as among the jueteng financiers who ?centralized? payola for then President Joseph Estrada.

In a statement, Governor Pineda on Tuesday said STL was the game allowed by law to operate in Pampanga.

In Pangasinan, Governor Espino denied he was running jueteng operations in the province. ?That?s a big lie,? Espino said in a telephone interview. ?I deny it completely.?

Flanked by city officials

In Baguio City, Mayor Domogan was flanked by city and Cordillera police officials when he faced reporters to disown the report linking him to jueteng.

?I am not a gambling lord. I am not a gambling coddler… I do not even gamble… I have always been against jueteng. [Archbishop Cruz] should evaluate his statement. He must know it?s not fair to accuse anyone [of a crime]. It?s so un-Christian,? he said.

In Isabela, Gov. Faustino Dy III said his brother, Rep. Napoleon ?Pol? Dy, ?is not in any way involved in jueteng operations.?

Governor Dy, however, said his brother, a former mayor of Alicia town, was one of the franchise holders of STL in Isabela?s third congressional district.

Representative Dy denied any involvement in jueteng.

?If Atong Ang is the one feeding Cruz with information, we have a big problem because Atong Ang is the one operating (a jueteng-like illegal numbers game) in Isabela,? he said.

Not brother?s keeper

Jefferson Soriano, a former police director of Cagayan Valley, said his brother, Danny, was not involved in jueteng operations in Cagayan. With reports from Michael Lim Ubac in Manila; Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon, and Gabriel Cardinoza, Vincent Cabreza and Villamor Visaya Jr., Inquirer Northern Luzon

Atong Ang: I’m a legal gambling lord

abs-cbnNEWS.com
Posted at 09/23/2010 3:32 PM | Updated as of 09/23/2010 3:32 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Alleged jueteng lord Charlie “Atong” Ang on Thursday denied any involvement in the illegal numbers game, jueteng, claiming that he is strictly into legal gambling like cockfighting and jai alai.

“Simula umpisa, never ako na-involve sa illegal gambling. Wala akong record na nagpatakbo ako ng illegal gambling kahit kelan,” Ang said in a radio dzMM.

“Yan ang kinaiinisan ko sa lahat, yang jueteng na ‘yan.”

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago on Wednesday named Ang as one of the top jueteng operators in Regions 1 to 5 alongside Danny Soriano, Bong Pineda, Aging Lisan, and Tony Santos.

Other alleged jueteng operators identified by Santiago are Chavit Singson, Bonito Singson, M. Urduña, Boy Bata, Danny Soriano, Col. Delos Santos, Ronald Lim, Togo, Elmer Nepomuceno, Don Ramon, Boyet Aransa, and Haruta.

Before Santiago’s exposé, retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz revealed before a Senate inquiry that Ang is a “good source of information” about jueteng and jai alai.

Ang said he met Cruz about a month ago after hearing news that he was being linked to jueteng rackets. He told the archbishop that he helps operate jai alai games in Cagayan.

“Hindi ako nagju-jueteng eh. Never ako nainvolve sa ganyan. 150% sa pagkatao ko against sa illegal gambling,” he reiterated.

“Dapat dyan, imbestigahan ng pulis, hulihin, saka nila i-dyaryo kapag may ebidensya na,” he said.

Jai Alai

Currently, Ang said he is actively involved in Jai Alai as he works as a consultant for gaming company Meridien Vista Gaming Corporation in the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Free Port.

Ang also clarified that the Virtual 2 is a form of jai alai, not jueteng as alleged by Sen. Santiago.

According to Ang, the Philippine Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) are not allowed to operate jai alai games in the Philippines. But the Ceza charter allows for jai alai within the area.

Further, Ang said jai alai can only have off-site betting stations if the company can secure permits from the local chief executive.

Ang also added that officials should refrain from including politics in gaming operations because this will scare off interested investors.

Early this year, Meridien’s operations in Ceza was closed due to resistance from Church groups and community leaders. However, the group won the case and were allowed to operate within Ceza. – With radio dzMM

Bishop defends Atong: He’s into jai-alai, not ‘jueteng’

By Christian V. Esguerra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 02:44:00 09/24/2010

MANILA, Philippines?Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz Thursday said Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago might have been off the mark when she identified gambling consultant Charlie ?Atong? Ang as the country?s top ?jueteng? lord.

But Cruz acknowledged that Santiago?s list of jueteng operators and protectors she disclosed in her privilege speech on Wednesday was ?more accurate and comprehensive? than the roster he submitted to the Senate.

Cruz said Ang could not have been into jueteng while operating jai-alai, a supposedly legal form of gambling coursed through the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Free Port.

?It?s my understanding that Atong Ang, although he?s formerly very active in jueteng, now hits jueteng because he wants his jai-alai business to spread,? he told the Inquirer.

Cruz added: ?If he?s for jai-alai, he can?t be for jueteng or vice versa because one outdoes the other.?

In a phone interview, Ang said it would be in his favor if jueteng was stamped out for good.

?Every town has a preference in terms of gambling for pastime,? he said in Filipino. ?Jueteng, jai-alai, and other forms of gambling compete with each other. So it all boils down to marketing your business.?

Ang maintained that he never dabbled in jueteng, a form of underground lottery that caused the downfall of the Estrada administration where he was a gambling consultant.

On her list, Santiago named Ang, a former gambling buddy of deposed President Joseph Estrada, as the top gambling operator in terms of provinces covered in Regions 1 to 5.

The list showed that Ang was operating a numbers game called ?Virtual 2? in Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela, Cavite, Mindoro Oriental and Camarines Norte.

Also on the list were Danny Soriano, Bong Pineda, Aging Lisan, Tony Santos, Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis ?Chavit? Singson, Danny Soriano, Don Ramon, Ronald Lim and Elmer Nepomuceno.

In her privilege speech, Santiago said jueteng was flourishing in the country because the interior secretary and the head of the Philippine National Police were on the payroll of gambling operators.

The senator claimed that the interior secretary and PNP chief get a combined P300 million a year, equivalent to 1 percent of the P30 billion in annual gross receipts of the illegal numbers racket.

?I could be wrong?

Cruz, head of the People?s Crusade Against Jueteng, admitted that his list of jueteng operators and beneficiaries might have missed some personalities.

But he said authorities should consider it as a lead for further investigation. ?I?m not God,? he said. ?It?s possible that I could be wrong. But what I have is what I have.?

The list that Cruz furnished the Senate showed that Interior Undersecretary Rico E. Puno and former PNP Director General Jesus Verzosa, who retired recently, were each getting up to P8 million monthly from jueteng operators.

The list named as jueteng operators Gov. Lilia Pineda for Pampanga, Gov. Amado Espino for Pangasinan, Paul [Napoleon] Dy for Isabela, retired Chief Supt. Eugene Martin and Mayor Mauricio Domogan for Baguio, Danny Soriano for Cagayan Valley, Boy Jalandoni for Bacolod, and retired Chief Supt. Ricardo Padilla for San Pedro, Laguna, and Pasay, Parañaque and Muntinlupa?all in Metro Manila.

Co-accused in plunder

Ang was jailed as a co-accused in the plunder case against Estrada. In March 2007, Ang pleaded guilty to corruption of a public official in relation to indirect bribery during his re-arraignment.

By pleading guilty to the lesser offense, he avoided serving a possible sentence of up to 40 years?the maximum prison term for plunder.

Ang also agreed to return P25 million, his alleged share of tax kickbacks he was accused of diverting in conspiracy with Estrada.

The charge sheet said that of the P130 million in tobacco excise taxes diverted in 1998 from the coffers of Ilocos Sur, P70 million was allegedly pocketed by Estrada, P20 million went to Estrada?s wife Luisa ?Loi? Ejercito, P15 million to their son Jinggoy and P25 million to Ang, which he later admitted in the plea bargain agreement.

After his release following a two-year probation in 2009, Ang said he decided to concentrate on the ?legal? gambling jai-alai.

Meridien Vista

He is now a consultant for Meridien Vista Gaming Corp., whose business supposedly covers ?five to six provinces.? ?It?s still small,? he said.

Ang said some jai-alai workers on the ground were former jueteng collectors.

?Gambling workers know no other job,? he said. ?You can?t turn them into car salesmen because that?s not what they do. So they just basically move from one gambling venue to another for livelihood.?

Angara

Sen. Edgardo Angara lauded Santiago for her privilege speech.

But Angara said his colleague should also identify ?nationally elected officials? who might be involved in the illegal numbers racket.

?They would be answerable to the people,? he said. But even without specific punishment, ?exposure is itself public condemnation. That?s enough punishment,? he added.

Angara, whose province Aurora which Santiago mentioned as jueteng-free, said the investigation in the Senate was a sideshow.

?What we really need to tackle is jueteng being the root of political and police corruption,? he said.

Vicious cycle

Angara said the President should come out with a clear position against jueteng.

?We will cut the vicious cycle if the highest official in our country will make a stand,? the senator said in an interview on dwIZ radio.

The Senate will hold its second hearing on jueteng on Tuesday. Invited were PNP Director General Raul Bacalzo, Verzosa, Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo and Interior Undersecretary Rico E. Puno. With a report from Gil C. Cabacungan Jr.

‘Jueteng’ lords clean money in Singapore

Buying artworks, luxury cars part of laundering

By Marlon Ramos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:25:00 09/27/2010

MANILA, Philippines?Gambling lords have found ?creative methods? of laundering billions of pesos generated by their illegal operations in the country, a lawyer of a late suspected jueteng operator said Sunday.

The methods range from auctioning off paintings in Singapore to moving funds through the underground ?Binondo Central Bank,? Ferdinand Topacio said.

Topacio said operators of the illegal numbers racket were buying multimillion-peso artworks of up and coming Filipino painters to launder jueteng money abroad.

?For some reasons, the works of young Filipino painters have recently captured the interest of foreign art collectors,? he said in an interview with the Inquirer.

He said gambling personalities would use trading companies to buy paintings of promising Filipino artists before putting them up for sale at the renowned Christie?s auction house in Singapore.

?Jueteng operators found this opportunity to safely launder profits from their nefarious activities without catching the suspicion of authorities,? Topacio said.

Jueteng generates P30 billion in gross receipts annually, according to Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago. Santiago delivered a privilege speech on Sept. 22 that listed the jueteng operators in Regions 1 to 5 and their daily receipts, and the share of the revenues that goes to government officials as payoffs.

The previous day, retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz gave the Senate a list of jueteng operators and beneficiaries that showed that Interior Undersecretary Rico E. Puno had been receiving up to P8 million a month in jueteng payola since July.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue joined the fray, saying the agency will look into the lifestyle of the suspected jueteng operators.

Being a lawyer of the late Batangas Gov. Armand Sanchez, Topacio seems to know the ins and outs of the jueteng business. Before his death in April from complications of a stroke, Sanchez had been named in Senate inquiries as among the country?s jueteng operators, an accusation he had vehemently denied.

Topacio said the money-laundering activities of gambling syndicates included buying and selling luxury cars and real estate.

The more cautious gambling operators have been depositing large amounts in offshore bank accounts and shell corporations in the British Virgin Islands, Hong Kong, Singapore and other countries which implement strict bank secrecy laws, he said.

But perhaps the safest and quickest way to clean up ?dirty money??money from gambling, illegal drug trade and kidnapping?is through the ?Binondo Central Bank,? according to Topacio. ?You will be amazed by how the Binondo Central Bank can easily move millions of dollars electronically in favor of a jueteng lord in a matter of minutes,? he said.

Since the passage of the Anti-Money Laundering Act in 2001, gambling operators and other individuals engaged in illicit trades have sought to move their money undetected by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (Amlac), he said.

?These creative methods were borne out of the necessity to have their money cleaned before authorities make their move to have them investigated or worse, seize their funds,? he said.

Topacio said a group of Chinese businessmen was helping jueteng financiers escape Amlac?s scrutiny by depositing large amounts in accounts in Hong Kong banks, with just a ring of the phone.

To illustrate the procedure, he said gambling lords or their representatives would contact the Chinese financiers and bring with them the money they wanted to clear?in cold cash.

Upon presenting the cash, Topacio said the Chinese contacts would immediately call their accomplices in Hong Kong to deposit the equivalent amount in US dollars in the name of a dummy entity, be it an individual or a corporation.

The money would then be ?repatriated? to the Philippines as remittances sent to numerous banks accounts under the name of certain people.

To avoid scrutiny, the remittances are broken down into small amounts, oftentimes lower than the P500,000 minimum ?suspicious-transaction records? set by Amlac.

Topacio said bank transfers should also be below the ?covered transactions,? an Amlac rule which automatically investigates any bank transactions amounting to P4 million in a span of five days.

In return, the Chinese businessmen get 3 percent of the total cash transaction, he said.

?The Binondo Central Bank is an alterative financial system in itself. I can go there with P45 million cash to have one million dollars deposited in my account in minutes. It?s as simple as that,? Topacio said.

He said there was almost no effort involved at all. ?It?s done in minutes through phone calls. You don?t even have to be physically present there to move your money inter-country physically. You also escape the risk of being detected by the Customs at the airport,? he added.

Since no large amounts are transferred from Hong Kong to the Philippines, he said Amlac could barely detect the transactions.

?But we can?t discount collusion with [certain people in] the regulatory agencies like the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas), Amlac or even the local banks,? he said.

Topacio said he came to know about the financial dealings of gambling operators through his ?study? of the country?s fiscal system. He said he wrote an article, ?Cleaning Up: How Jueteng Syndicates Launder Dirty Money,? to ?alert? lawmakers of the ?loopholes in our system of laws.?




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