The owners and officials of a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) who were allegedly involved in kidnapping Chinese employees in the country have been charged with human trafficking.
It can be recalled that this past Sunday, 43 Chinese employees of illegal POGO were rescued by the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Angeles City, Pampanga.
According to PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo in TeleRadyo, almost 200 more alleged POGO employees were rescued in their residences near their workplaces.
“Maliban doon sa (43) na na-rescue pa, ay meron pa silang nakuha na additional 190 doon sa lugar kung saan tumutuloy yung mga empleyado pa nitong POGO operators na ilegal na nag-ooperate dyan sa Angeles City,” she said.
“Nahuli natin at nakasuhan yung tumatayong HR (human resources) officer nitong illegal POGO operators at sinampahan na siya ng kaso nung September 15, at yung ibang mga may-ari at mga iba pang mga opisyales nitong POGO operators na nabanggit, particularly itong Lucky South 99 Outsourcing Incorporated na lumalabas na illegal pala na POGO ay kinasuhan na rin ng human trafficking.”
According to the official, the PNP is now focusing on the investigation of illegal POGOs.
“Sa pangunguna po ng ating (Secretary of the Interior and Local Government), binigyan na po niya ng instruction ang ating chief PNP para makipagugnayan po sa mga appropriate government agencies para nga maiwasan nga po itong mga POGO-related abduction,” she said.
Illegal POGO charged with human trafficking
Meanwhile, Senator Koko Pimentel called on his fellow legislators to prioritize the creation of laws to ban POGOs.
“Given what we’re seeing now as numerous ill effects of POGOs, the Congress has the moral duty to ban POGOs. We should act now. It will be a bipartisan measure,” he said.
This follows Senator Imee Marcos’ statement that her brother, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. intends to ban POGOs.
“Kung sa China, where most of these people come from, bawal ang POGOs, why did we open our doors to POGOs?” added the Senate minority leader.
Meanwhile, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno wants the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) to disappear from the Philippines, which he described as having “social and reputational risks.”