PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday criticized businessman and former trade minister Roberto Ongpin of benefiting from former presidents, as he promised to “destroy” the country’s oligarchs.
“I will destroy the oligarchs that are embedded in government,” Duterte said in a speech in Malacañang. “These are the guys who sit in their planes, in their mansions, and money comes in … I said, ‘destroy,'” Duterte said.
“I’ll give you an example, publicly, Ongpin, Roberto,” he said, adding that Ongpin was close to former presidents Ferdinand Marcos, Fidel Ramos, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno Aquino 3rd.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) had revoked 124 online gaming licenses to enforce President Duterte’s order to stop internet-based gambling operations.
The Ongpin-led Philweb Corp. has seen its share price dwindle as a result. It closed at P14.18 per share on Wednesday, halving its 52-week high of P28.50 apiece.
PhilWeb operates a network of 268 Pagcor e-Games cafes with a total of 8,839 gaming terminals nationwide.
The e-Games cafes are in Metro Manila, Quezon, Batangas and the Balesin Island resort owned by Ongpin.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has also sanctioned Ongpin for insider trading involving Philex Mining shares in 2009.
On August 1, however, Ongpin secured a temporary restraining order on the SEC’s ruling barring him from holding posts in listed companies and fining him P174 million.