Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Legenda Casino in Subic closed

SUBIC BAY FREE PORT - The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. on Friday closed down Legenda Casino, a pioneering entertainment and gambling institution here, for failing to pay its outstanding debt of P365,730,165, accumulated from March 2001 to April 2006.

According to Carlos Bautista, senior managing head for corporate and legal affairs of Pagcor, the agency had given Legenda Casino enough time to settle its debt in vain.

"We sent the casino so many demand letters and notices to pay its obligation to Pagcor, but it insisted that it had no obligation to us, so we had no choice but to close it down," Bautista told The Manila Times.

Khoo Boo Boon, chief executive officer of Legenda Casino, however, disputed Bautista’s claim.

Boon explained that Legenda Casino has no money obligation to Pagcor.In fact, he said, Pagcor owes Legenda Casino P200,000 in nominal damages and P100,000 in attorney’s fee in a decision dated December 28, 2004, by Judge Eliodoro Obiadas of Branch 72 of the Olongapo City Regional Trial Court.

Boon added that Legenda will file appropriate charges against all Pagcor officials and employees who barged into the casino to enforce the corporation’s closure order.

"We are a reputable company that is transparent to everybody.We are promoting tourism in Subic," Boon said.

He also questioned the orders. It should be a proper court that should serve a closure order not Pagcor, he said.

But Bautista claims that aside from not paying its outstanding obligation, Legenda Casino also allegedly held illegal cockfights on May 8 to 10, 2003. This, Bautista said, violates Presidential Decree 449, the Cockfighting Law of 1974.

"That alone can be a basis or their closure," Bautista told The Times.

Bautista and Pagcor legal personnel, escorted by Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority police officers, served the closure order to the Legenda chief executive officer at around 1:30 p.m. Friday but Boon refused to accept the order.

Pagcor officials then pasted the closure notice in front of the main entrance of the Casino but Boon allegedly tore it done.

It was around 8:30 p.m. when Pagcor official and SBMA police succeeded in closing the main door of the casino.

Bautista insists that the closure order by Pagcor officials is valid and can be implemented.

He further explained that the Provisional Authority granted to Legenda Casino in 2001 is now revoked.


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