Palace says gov’t to run after illegal recruiters of Pogo workers
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government would run after illegal recruiters of workers for the Philippine offshore gaming operations (Pogos), Malacañang said Friday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said this a day after the Chinese embassy called on the government to “punish” Pogo operators, casinos and other forms of gambling entities in the country that are illegally recruiting Chinese citizens.
“Anything illegal, we will run after them,” Panelo told reporters on the sidelines of the 118th Police Service Anniversary at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
Pogo operations in the country, Panelo said, were legal but there could be Chinese workers who have been illegally recruited.
“It can be illegal if they do not observe the protocols imposed by the government,” he said.
The Chinese embassy earlier said that Chinese workers had their passports taken away or confiscated while others were subjected to “extortion, physical abuse and torture as well as other ill-treatments.”
Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua said in an interview that the embassy has filed “dozens of cases” involving abuses on Chinese Pogo workers.
“We have filed more than dozens of cases involving victims, Chinese victims which are injured or maltreated by people operating the gambling businesses,” Zhao said.
However, Panelo said that “as far as I know,” the government has not received any complaints. /jpv
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