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Flood of aliens blamed on POGO proliferation

June 18, 2024 Camille P. Balagtas 159 views

THE UNLIMITED number of aliens going in and out of the country who are free to move without scrutiny has resulted from the licensing of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGOs) by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.(PAGCOR).

In an interview over Facts First on, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said that an unlimited number of workers for POGO is one of the privileges granted to these Pogo companies are enjoying which is one reason why many of these foreigners are flocking the country.

“Sa ilalim ng lisensiya na ibinibigay sa POGO ng PAGCOR, makapagpapasok na sila ng unli na tao. Pribilehiyo nila na magpasok kahit ilang tao na gusto nila. They can import unlimited people sa ibat ibang bansa gaya ng China, Vietnam, etc,” Gatchalian revealed.

He also listed the ways on how these foreigners can enter the country without further scrutiny using POGO as the key and usually entering through Clark Airport.

“License first from POGO issued by Pagcor. Tapos magpapasok na sila ng Unli nilang tao for employment, Permit sa Dept. of Labor and Employment na working Visa and sa Bureau of Immigration where they can avail of the so called AEP o Alien Employment Permit.

“Multiple entry na sila pagkatapos at unlimited employees na hindi na i scrutinize kung may mga kriminal na record which is bothersome. Ang basehan na lang ay ang working visa na binigay sa kanila. And I would say this is the failure of Pagcor to regulate” Gatchalian said.

He also narrated that most of these agencies now are pointing their fingers at each other and trying to evade accountability.

“Nagtuturuan na ang Pagcor, BI, Dole because of what’s happening. Ginagamit na kasi ang mga sub license ng mga POGO sa ibang area to operate but ang focus is illegal activities like scamming, hacking etc. It’s like a Wild Wild West dahil walang regulations, they are jumping from one POGO to another and hindi makontrol ng ating mga ahensiya,” Gatchalian said.

He also likened POGO to illegal drugs because it is now trying to control many politicians, authorities and even the justice system in the country which he explained is quite alarming.

“Sa laki ng pera nila, at konektado na ngayon sa local na mga sindikato, inaaral nila ang sistema dito sa bansa. Ang Pogo ay sinuka nang China , tapos kinain natin? We should totally ban POGO.

.Kaya nga hindi pumasok sa ganito sina Ayala, Manny Pangilinan, kasi by the very nature of POGO, it is illegal and their customers are highly questionable too.” Gatchalian said.

Gatchalian said compared to our losses, the profit that we are getting from POGO is not enough because of the criminalities that they are into and the negative image and the impact that they bring to our country.

Gatchalian revealed that in the next hearing this coming June 25, the Senate Committee on Women, Children,Family Relations and Gender Equality chaired by Senator Risa Hontiveros will be inviting those officials involved in the so-called Porac Pampanga raid to give them the much needed information that the committee will be using in order to know if these Pogos in Pampanga are connected with Tarlac, Bamban operations.

Authorities have raided a number of illegal POGOs in the past years due to their involvement in human trafficking, kidnapping, illegal detention and other criminal activities.

They seized Chinese military uniforms at a POGO hub in Porac, Pampanga that was raided last week.

High-powered firearms have been found in past raids at POGO hubs.

Gatchalian also asked Local Government Units to act immediately, as he urged them to pass an ordinance within their jurisdiction so that they can protect their interest just like in Valenzuela City and Pasig as he reiterated his strong appeal for the total ban of POGO nationwide.