It's Up To Naguiat – Valte

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino is not keen on demanding the resignation of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) Chairman Cristino L. Naguiat Jr., pending an investigation on bribery allegations which he has publicly denied, his spokesperson said Sunday.

Deputy Presidential Spokeswoman Abigail Valte said Naguiat's move, following an investigation, ordered by President Aquino, is all up to the gaming official.

''We leave it to the discretion of the official (Naguiat) how to take a call for resignation or a voluntary leave. It is up to Chairman Naguiat to respond to these calls,'' Valte said over state-run Radyo ng Bayan.

The President ordered Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. to investigate accusations that Naguiat accepted lavish perks from Japanese casino magnate, Kazuo Okada.

Earlier, Wynn Resorts Ltd. accused the Japanese billionaire of providing a $6,000-a-day suite in Macau foro Naguiat as part of a series of payments that Okada's Universal Entertainment Corp. improperly afforded certain PAGCOR officials and their family members.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), probing Okada for violating the US anti-bribery law, found that he had been bribing PAGCOR officials in a supposed bid to obtain contracts in the Philippines.

Naguiat has denied the allegations, claiming he was merely dragged into a dispute between two gambling magnates.

Bloomberg reported that Okada visited Manila last February 20 to apologize to Naguiat and deny having given cash gifts to PAGCOR officials.

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