Bobby Ongpin makes one last appeal to Pagcor
Businessman Roberto V. Ongpin is hoping against hope that the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. will reconsider his offer and use his P20 billion stake in PhilWeb Corp. to build drug rehabilitation centers.
The former trade minister under the term of deposed president Marcos has amended his offer after Pagcor refused to accept his 49 percent shareholdings in the gaming technology provider in a last-ditch effort to preserve the livelihood of some 6,000 individuals.
“I am a firm believer in the President’s drive against drug menace. And as he pointed out the elimination of drug lords and drug pushers will not succeed unless this is complemented by an effective drug rehabilitation program,” Ongpin said in a letter to Pagcor chief Andrea Domingo.
“As a background, some months before the PhilWeb license was to expire, PhilWeb had engaged in a serious study of drug rehabilitation centers and how many other countries in the world such as in the US and in Europe, were addressing this need,” Ongpin said.
Ongpin said the company had identified a site near Atimonan, Quezon province which had been used as a staging area during the construction of Balesin Island Club, as an ideal rehabilitation site.
:Our objective was to develop a model drug rehabilitation center which can be used as a prototype for other centers to be established by the government and others in the private sector,” he said.
According to Ongpin, PhilWeb had actually appropriated P100 million per year (equivalent to about 10 percent of its profits) plus P2 to P3 million per month to maintain this center, which could no longer be undertaken given the current circumstances.
“I hope that I will be forgiven for this one last attempt. It is a sincere attempt and no benefit whatsoever will accrue to me since I have already committed to donate all my shares,” Ongpin said.