Ongpin’s last stand to save Philweb

Roberto Ongpin has made a final attempt to save the 6,000 workers of embattled Philweb Corp. after the Philippine gaming regulator announced its license would not be renewed.

According to local media, in a letter to Pagcor chairperson Andrea Domingo on Friday, Ongpin asked the gaming regulator to use his P20 billion worth of Philweb shares for the establishment of a nationwide network of drug rehabilitation centers.

“I am a firm believer in the President [Rodrigo Duterte]’s drive against the drug menace. And as he has 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.

“While one could agree that gambling is undesirable, nothing could be more precocious than drug menace which destroys the very fabric of our youth and our society and which admirably, the President has chosen to be his first priority,” Ongpin added.

Last week, Pagcor Ongpin’s offer to donate 49 percent of his stake in Philweb Corp.

“The issue is not RVO (Roberto V. Ongpin) or PhilWeb per se. It is the President’s and his government’s opposition to online and onsite gaming because of the social ills and decay they foist on our communities as they cater to the more economically vulnerable portion of our population,” said Pagcor Chairman Andrea Domingo in a statement on Thursday.

However, Ongpin is hoping Pagcor will accept his amended proposal.

“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,” he said.