What Pagcor can do to RW dead
So the families of those who died during the attack at Resorts World Manila (RW) are now contemplating civil complaints for damages? With 37 dead victims, the claim could add up to about a billion pesos for actual, moral and exemplary damages or what-have-you.
Given the present rate of about P25,000 per P1 million, the docket and filing fees alone could amount to about P25 million. Where will that kind of money come from? Of course, from the pockets of the aggrieved plaintiffs who already lost their loved ones. If that is not adding judicial insult to physical injury, we don’t know what is.
Worse, any money judgment for the plaintiffs against the casino owners for their alleged negligence is not seen forthcoming with finality until after about 20 years. Against all the best-scheming defense lawyers the super-rich defendant can buy, “see you in court” is an overrated threat and should be the last thing on the grieving families’ minds.
Forget about going to court. No, we are by no means in the tank for the casino owners, but practical reality of the justice system in this country compels a serious consideration of any out-of-court deal laid on the table.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. has already suspended RW’s gaming license indefinitely. But RW has already “voluntarily suspended operations,” so what’s the point? Without Pagcor’s interdiction, RW could resume “operations” once its gaming facilities are rehabilitated.
By keeping RW’s gaming license in deep freeze, Pagcor, if it values integrity more than anything else, can help the victims’ families get their due—without spending a single centavo for court and lawyers’ fees.
REY CHAVEZ ESCOBAR, [email protected]
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