Senator Win Gatchalian denounced an accredited service provider of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) for employing foreign fugitives, referring to Xinchuang Network Technology in Las Piñas which was recently closed down by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

At least 7 foreign fugitives, composed of 4 Chinese and 3 Taiwanese, were found to be working in the facility.

“This is yet another evidence that the POGO industry is deeply entrenched in criminal activities. Maliwanag na kahit lehitimong POGO ay sangkot din sa krimen,” Gatchalian stressed.

The lawmaker emphasized that this is the second time in a month that POGO has been implicated in criminal activities. Apart from the raid in Las Piñas on June 26, an entrapment operation was carried out on June 27 in Pasay City against foreign nationals involved in kidnap-for-ransom and torture, some of whom were former POGO employees.

This also marks the second occurrence in just two months where an accredited POGO service provider has been implicated in criminality. In May, CGC Technologies Inc., also a POGO-accredited service provider operating in the raided Sunvalley Clark Hub Corporation in Pampanga, was found to have employed fugitives engaged in human trafficking and other forms of online scams.

Gatchalian pointed out that employment by licensed POGOs and accredited service providers shows that the industry has no regard for the rule of law. “This proves that POGO industry players are merely using their licenses as a front while perpetrating various crimes in the country,” he said.

“Kapag foreign fugitives, ibig sabihin ay may warrant of arrest na sila sa ibang bansa. Dapat nakakulong sila pero nandito sila sa bansa at nagtatrabaho. Ang punto ko, ‘wag tayong tumanggap ng mga negosyo na makakasira sa atin dahil base sa mga datos at police report, ang POGO ay palaging may dalang krimen. At hanggang nandyan ang mga POGO, laganap pa rin ang krimen sa bansa,” said Gatchalian, reiterating his call to ban all POGO operations in the country.

The senator said he is hopeful that the administration will support his call.

“Nag-usap na kami ng pangulo tungkol dito. Very concerned siya sa mga krimen na nangyayari sa POGO. Sang-ayon din ang economic managers na kahit na anong bentahe natin o promotion sa Piipinas, kung may mga ganitong krimen ay sira tayo agad at sayang lang ang mga ginagawa natin para sa bansa,” he ended. (ai/mnm)