NBI denies links to death threats vs Atong Ang

MANILA — National Bureau of Investigation (NBI Director Dante A. Gierran on Tuesday denied the allegations of controversial Filipino-Chinese businessman Charlie “Atong” Ang that the bureau is involved in the alleged harassment and death threats against the latter.

”The NBI is a professional organization that adheres to high moral and ethical standards and its Officials and Agents will not be involved in highly unethical and illegal activities as alleged by Ang,” he said in a statement.

Gierran stressed that the alleged death threats against Ang are baseless and without merit and are just a product of his own wild imaginations.

”Baseless and unfounded allegations of Charlie ”Atong” Ang may have something to do with the series of operations conducted by the NBI in Isabela Province,” he noted.

On March 29, 2017, the NBI received a letter from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) seeking the assistance of the NBI in stopping illegal gambling and such other forms of illegal numbers game, including Jai Alai and such other forms of illegal gambling or numbers game using or based on jai alai in the province of Isabela.

The letter also stated that the PCSO has gathered information and received reports that illegal gambling, including jai alai and other illegal numbers games using jai alai results, are freely operating in the said province.

Under the law, the PCSO is the only authorized agency to hold and conduct lotteries and similar games in the country and Small Town Lottery (STL) is the only legal and authorized numbers game nationwide.

Promptly acting on the request, the NBI-Cagayan Valley Regional Office (NBI-CAVRO) conducted an operation on April 19, 2017 in Ilagan, Province of Isabela resulting in the arrest of forty (40) individuals and gambling paraphernalia of Meredian Gaming Corporation.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II on Tuesday ordered the NBI to conduct a probe on Ang’s allegation pointing to him and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon as the ones behind the death threats.

The DOJ chief the investigation seeks to identify Ang’s ‘friends’ at the NBI.

“He pays government officials for protection and these officials include people from the NBI and the Immigration. I have already ordered an investigation to identify who these people are,” Aguirre said.

Aguirre said Ang is simply afraid he could lose his source of income that brings him earnings of up to P50-million a day.

Ang is the owner of Meridien Vista Gaming Corporation (MVGC). It operates a jai alain fronton in Sta. Ana, Cagayan and whose franchise was granted by the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) during the Arroyo administration. Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/ PNA-northboundasia.com