Duterte unfazed by Pogo hubs near military camps
MANILA, Philippines – The presence of Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogo) hubs manned by Chinese nationals near military camps is not something to worry about, President Rodrigo Duterte said, even as Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has raised concerns on the country’s national security.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the location of the Pogo hubs does not matter to the President.
Panelo, who said he talked to Duterte about the matter, quoted the President saying: “You don’t have to be near any military camp if you want to gather intelligence.”
He mentioned that the President told him that considering current technologies, “even if they are far away from China if they want to spy on us, they can.”
“Mas maganda ‘yong sinabi ni Presidente, sabi ni Presidente, ‘Kahit malayo sila ilang milya, because of high tech, they can spy on us if they want,’” he said.
Panelo said Duterte told him that the Philippine government could also do “intelligence gathering” amid security concerns over the rise of Pogo hubs in the country.
“He said yesterday na magaling tayo sa ating intelligence gathering, marami na tayong instrumento. We can do it also,” he said.
Lorenzana earlier backed the proposal of putting up exclusive hubs for Pogos and it should be moved away from military camps, citing national security.
Asked if the President was worried about the proliferation of Pogo hubs near military camps and its implication to national security, Panelo said, “Not that much. No, given the logic of what he was saying, he is not worried.” /gsg
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