MANILA - The head of a Macau-based firm planning to build a $500 million integrated resort on Boracay island met with President Rodrigo Duterte 4 months ago to discuss the project, official photos from Malacaang showed.
Duterte had ordered a 6-month closure of Boracayto tourists starting April 26, after describing the country's top tourist attraction as a "cesspool" tainted by raw sewage.
He claimed on Monday that he did not know about casino giant Galaxy Entertainment's plan to build a casino in the world-famous island.
However, a press release from the President Communications Operations Office showed that officials of the Macau-based Galaxy Entertainment Group paid a courtesy call on President Duterte last December 6, 2017.
"Galaxy Entertainment, one of the worlds leading resorts, hospitality and gaming companies, tied up with a local partner to invest in the Philippines. The company is in the process of complying with government requirements to start operating in the country," the PCOO said.
Among Galaxy Entertainments officials who paid a courtesy call on President Duterte were Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. chairman Dr. Lui Che Woo, Deputy Chairman Francis Lui Yiu Tung, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Dir. Rolando Macasaet, Galaxy Entertainment President Michael Victor Mecca, Senior Director for Strategic Planning Roland To Chi Kay, Senior Director for International Premium and Mass Market Development Raymond Yap Yin Min, Senior Manager Andrew Nicolas Lui, and Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, Negros Occidental (Third District).