Fired Nayong Pilipino boss Ocampo defends ‘corruption-laced’ $1.5B casino deal with Landing casino
Outgoing Nayong Pilipino Foundation (NPF) Chairperson Patricia Ocampo, who was sacked by President Rodrigo Duterte with her entire board, has denied that their business dealings in behalf of government was tainted with corruption.
In a statement sent to reporters Tuesday, Ocampo said she would respect the Chief Executive’s decision removing the NPF’s board of trustees and management team.
“In behalf of the board of trustees of the Nayong Pilipino Foundation, I would like to thank the President for having been given the opportunity to serve the Filipino people. It is regrettable that it has come to this, but we understand that we serve at the pleasure of the President,” Ocampo’s statement read.
Earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque burst Landing’s bubble as he announced that Duterte has fired the entire board and management team of NPF for giving its green light to a lease agreement, which the Chief Executive described as “grossly disadvantageous” to the government.
Although Malacañang has not identified the private firm supposedly involved in the lopsided deal, Ocampo’s statement referred to the $1.5-billion investment of Hong Kong-based Landing International Development Ltd. in an integrated resort at the Entertainment City in Parañaque City.
“I strongly deny accusations that there were graft and corruption. On the contrary, the lease contract with Landing International Development Ltd. is above-board, and is highly-advantageous to the government and to the Filipino people,” she said.
She also debunked claims that the lease contract between NPF and Landing International is for 70 years. It is just 25 years “starting from the date of execution of the lease contract”.
She mentioned that under the agreement, the monthly rental would be at P360 per square meters. An advance rental value of P827.05 million was also placed.
NPF and Landing International also agreed that the government will receive “an additional monthly rental equivalent to 10 percent of net profits from the operations of its attractions and theme parks after taxes exclusive of value added tax”.
“We negotiated what we believed then, and believe now, are most advantageous terms and conditions for the government and the people,” Ocampo said. (PNA)