By Mark Francisco, MDN Reporter
OPOL, MisOr — Embattled Opol Mayor Max Seno has debunked allegations that the operation
the newly-opened Grand Imperial Casino in barangay Taboc, this municipality is illegal, tinted with corruption and against the tenets of morality.
Seno said he did not require permits for the Grand Imperial Casino to operate because the charter of the Philippine Gaming and Amusement Corporation (PAGCOR) allows the operation of casinos ‘within the territorial jurisdiction of the Philippines’.
Grand Imperial Casino is operated by the Gokongwei-owned Universal Hotels and Resort Incorporated (UHRI) under the supervision of PAGCOR.
The UHRI has another casino in General Santos City, now on its second year of operation.
Seno has justified the casino operation in his town during last Monday’s hearing called by the Sanggunian Panlalawigan of Misamis Oriental presided over by Vice Governor Jigjag Pelaez.
Seno said he welcomed the coming of the casino just like any other businesses in Opol because it will boost the local economy, increase revenues and generates local employment.
The Opol Mayor is heavily criticized not only from his political detractors but also by the local hierarchy of the Catholic Church backed by the Iglesia Filipiniana Independiente (IFI).
Seno and other local officials who favored the presence of casino in Opol are reportedly facing legal and administrative sanctions and Mass protests in the coming days.
Sources said various oppositon groups are set to launch mass action for the closure of the Opol Casino.