By: Roy Bersales
MACAU-BASED businessman Jack Lam appeared to be a sacred cow since the presidency of Corazon Cojuangco Aquino because his online gambling business in the Philippines started when Aquino became president of the country.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said Lam’s business permit to operate an online gambling at the Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino in Clark in Pampanga was the one issued by the late Pres. Aquino.
Duterte said Lam was actually paying taxes on the bets from the local bettors on his online gambling, but not those coming from various countries.
He said the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) does not have a record as to the exact profit of Lam’s gambling business coming other countries.
Thus, Duterte ordered confiscation of assets of Lam “because he cheated on us.”
“We were not able to determine how much we have lost (in taxes),” Duterte said.
“P—–na, when you talk in public as if everyone is in your pocket. That’s why I ordered his arrest. Kung magsalita parang lahat nasa bulsa niya,” Duterte said.
Lam did not pay taxes on his income from other countries.
Thus, the President ordered the sequestration of Lam’s assets.
Aside from Fontana, Lam has an online gambling business at the Fort Ilocandia in Ilocos.
Duterte’s order on Lam is separate from his previous directive to the Philippine National Police (PNP) to arrest Lam for bribery and economic sabotage charges.
“I-detain mo sa pinaka mabaho na presinto, yung walang working… dun mo siya ilagay,” Duterte averred.”
The government has not been filed appropriate charges against Lam as of this posting (December 18).
The illegal aspect of online gambling business of Lam was discovered after operatives of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) arrested around 1,350 Chinese nationals working illegally at Lam’s online gambling venture.
The issue exploded when retired Chief Supt. Wally Sombero attempted to bribe Justice Sec. Vitaliano II and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) chief Andrea Domingo to get people who would back up Lam’s online gambling business.
Aguirre and Domingo rejected the offer.
On November 27, Sombero met with BI Deputy Commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles at the City of Dreams.
Sombero gave Argosino and Robles P50 Million pay-offs.
Argosino said they accepted the huge money as part of the investigation of the BI about corruption activities of BI chief intelligence officer Charles Calima Jr. and Edward Tan.
He said Calima got P18 Million from the P50 Million, which was his share.
Sombero received P2 Million, apparently as a commission.
Sombero filed criminal charges against Argosino and Robles for violation of Anti-draft and Corrupt Practices Law.
Argosino and Robles resigned of Friday.
Calima and Tan were sacked by Aguirre.
Duterte sacked all of them from the BI.
Argosino, Robles, Aguirre, and Duterte are fraternity brothers.
Lam’s 30-year-old online gambling in the country was put to end by Duterte.