Philippine gaming firm sinks as Duterte attacks boss

Breaking News August 04, 2016 16:42

MANILA - Shares at Philippine online gaming firm Philweb Corp. plunged Thursday, a day after President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to "destroy" its chief executive for being an alleged oligarch.

 Philweb shares closed 36.88 per cent down at 8.95 pesos (19 US cents) after plunging to a year-low of 7.12 pesos earlier in the trading day.

 Speaking to members of an election watchdog on Wednesday, Duterte called Philweb's CEO Roberto Ongpin an oligarch, saying the company's chief got rich thanks to his close connections with four previous presidents, including the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

 Duterte, who has launched a controversial crackdown on crime that has left hundreds dead, called on the country's legislature to amend the constitution, in part to curb individual influence from wealthy residents over the government.

 "My order to the (assembly): Destroy the oligarchs that are embedded in government now. Those are the ones. I'll give you an example, publicly, in front of the nation: Ongpin, Roberto."

 "These are the guys, who, while sitting inside their planes or their mansions everywhere, are raking in money like taxi metres."

 The company told AFP it had no official response to the president's accusations.

 Philweb won a government license to launch internet cafes exclusively dedicated to hosting casino games in 2003.

 Duterte has previously vowed to fight corruption but his main focus has been a war on crime that has seen the killing of hundreds of suspected drug pushers since he was elected on May 9.

- AFP 


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