Senate probe sought into Nayong Pilipino casino deal

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Francis Escudero is seeking a probe into the alleged questionable deal entered into by former Nayong Pilipino Foundation (NPF) officials for a casino theme park on its property in Parañaque City.

Escudero filed Senate Resolution 858, which asks the Senate blue ribbon committee to investigate the NFP’s 50-year lease agreement with Landing Resorts Philippines Development Corporation, a local subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Landing International.

Landing International is to build a $1.5-billion integrated resort and theme park to be called NayonLanding in Pagcor's Entertainment City. NayongLanding  is set to be completed in 2022.

“Corruption, power play, incompetence and dishonesty especially if government is involved, adversely affect not only this particular project but other high-stakes development projects of the government,” said Escudero, chairman of the Senate committee on banks and financial institutions.

“The costs and consequences of corruption [are] very damaging to the country’s much touted Build, Build, Build program. It distorts our much-needed infrastructure developments, it delays or even scraps services needed by those who rely on government,” he added.

On August 7, President Rodrigo Duterte fired the entire NPF board for supposedly approving the project that is allegedly disadvantageous to the government.

A check of the documents, which Rappler obtained, pertaining to the NPF-LRPDC arrangement shows Duterte was mistaken with some of his facts. (READ: Did Duterte have his facts right on Nayong Pilipino deal?)

Aside from the issue, Escudero said Landing International’s other business interests in the Philippines should be looked into. He said there are reports he company is engaged in other businesses using affiliates and local partners. – Rappler.com

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com

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