July 19, 2024

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Roque, itinangging legal counsel siya ng isang iligal na POGO

Roque, itinangging legal counsel siya ng isang iligal na POGO
MB FILE PHOTO

Itinanggi ni dating presidential spokesperson Harry Roque na siya ang legal counsel ng isang Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) sa Porac, Pampanga na ni-raid ng mga awtoridad noong Hunyo.

Naglabas ng pahayag si Roque matapos isiwalat ni Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Alejandro Tengco na nakipag-ugnayan siya sa Pagcor sa ngalan ng POGO company na Lucky South 99.

BASAHIN: Harry Roque, may kinalaman nga ba sa lisensya ng iligal POGO hub sa Pampanga?

"I am not have never been a legal counsel to any illegal POGO. Neither was I counsel to Lucky South 99, Incorporated. I also did not participate in preparing Lucky South's organizational chart, which identified me as their legal counsel," pahayag ni Roque.

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Mariin niyang itinatanggi ang mga ulat ng media tungkol sa sinabi ng Pagcor chief na siya ang kinatawan ng naturang iligal na POGO.

Narito ang buong pahayag: 

"I vehemently deny media reports claiming that Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Chairman Alejandro Tengco allegedly said that I represented an illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO).

"As clearly stated by PAGCOR Chairman Alejandro Tengco in today’s Senate hearing, I requested a rescheduling of arrears payment of a lessee and principal of my client Whirlwind Corporation. My client is a service provider to Lucky South, then a holder of a valid license from PAGCOR," pahayag pa ng dating presidential spokesman.

"Furthermore, Senator Risa Hontiveros’ conclusion that I lied when I claimed in the media that I am Whirlwind’s counsel is bereft of merit. I clarify that I did not consent to nor was I informed of my name's inclusion in any submission by Lucky South with the PAGCOR concerning license renewal.

"If her only basis is the organizational chart naming me as legal counsel of Lucky South 99, then I challenge her to prove that I had a direct hand in preparing the said document. No such evidence exists.

"Regarding the allegation that Cassandra Ong represented herself as Lucky South’s representative, I beg to differ. Both Chairman Tengco and Atty. Jezza Fernandez admitted that Dennis Cunanan was still the POGO’s official liaison to PAGCOR when Ms. Ong and I met with them on July 26, 2023. That is a matter of record.

"I accompanied Ms. Ong in the meeting because I thought Lucky South--- Whirlwind’s principal---was a victim of estafa. By way of accommodation, I joined Ms. Ong since I was then persuading Whirlwind to invest in two energy projects of which I was the primary proponent.

"In September 2023, I confirmed later that Ms. Ong is the Whirlwind’s Corporate Secretary. After we were formally retained to represent the Company in an ejectment case in September 2023, Ms. Ong signed the pleadings in that case in this capacity. The case remains pending in the Court of Appeals and the Municipal Trial Court of Porac.

"Moreover, Whirlwind recently retained my firm to quash a search warrant in a residential dwelling in Porac mistakenly described as a “resort” by police authorities.

"I have no reason to deny my legal engagement with Lucky South if there is truth to it. Providing legal representation is why the legal profession exists. But the reality is that an attorney-client relationship is of the highest fiduciary relationship and cannot be presumed unless there is a clear retainer between counsel and client.

"As a lawyer, I could not directly engage with the POGO because of a potential conflict of interest and given the soured lease contract between Whirlwind and Lucky South."