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Chinese workers in PH part of Beijing’s army? ‘Wild imagination’ – Esperon

/ 12:34 PM July 31, 2019
Chinese workers in PH part of Beijing’s army? ‘Wild imagination’ – Esperon

AT HOME IN MANILA Chinese workers walk past posters showing images of home as they begin the day’s work on the China-funded Binondo-Intramuros Bridge in Manila. —JOAN BONDOC

MANILA, Philippines — Fears that some of the thousands of Chinese nationals who have been staying in the Philippines to work could be part of China’s People’s Liberation Army are just products of “wild imagination,” National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. said Wednesday. 

The number of Chinese nationals arriving in the Philippines has nearly tripled since 2016 with the majority of them working for the Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogo).

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These workers would fill hotel rooms and office towers, swamp condominiums and boost retail sales. But despite the economic benefits, there has been a mounting fear that Chinese workers are taking jobs, evading taxes and committing crimes.

READ: Pogo workers in their midst: Notes from an ‘invasion’

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“May mga nagsasabi na siguro part ‘yan ng Chinese army, I think that’s something medyo wild imagination ‘yun,” Esperon said in a media forum.

But Esperon also said he still treats the Chinese influx in the Philippines as a “security threat” considering that some of them are undocumented.

“You would also start getting worried when a whole building, a condominium tower is occupied by only one nationality where you might not be able to guard their activities,” he said.

“We want more tourists but there is still another side of the coin, so to say. So we must not let our guards down,” the former military chief added. /kga

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TAGS: China, Chinese influx, Chinese workers, Hermogenes Esperon, Local news, Nation, national news, news, Philippine news updates, Philippines, pogo, Security, Sovereignty
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