Pogo hubs present no threat to nat’l security ‘so far’ – Albayalde
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said Friday that “so far” Chinese-staffed Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (Pogo) hubs near police and military camps do not pose “any threat to our security.”
In a chance interview at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City, the nation’s top cop said foreigners normally set up their businesses near police stations or camps for security reasons.
“So far hindi naman, wala tayong nakikitang movement naman nila (So far it’s not, we do not see any movement from them) or any threat to our security,” he noted.
Albayalde’s comment came amid concerns earlier raised by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana that Pogo hubs established near military camps, although currently in operation solely for business, could easily be turned into facilities that could be used for spying by the Chinese government.
Lorenzana particularly cited Pogo hubs located at Araneta Center and Eastwood in Quezon City, both near Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Crame – headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and PNP, respectively.
Other Pogo hubs were reportedly located in proximity with the headquarters of the Philippine Air Force in Pasay City, the Philippine Army in Taguig City, and the Philippine Navy in Manila.
“Kung ikaw ay negosyante at meron kang pwesto or facility na malapit sa police station or kampo, you already feel safe. ‘Yun ‘yung isang consideration din nila,” according to Albayalde.
(If you are a business owner and you have a facility near a police station or camp, you already feel safe. That’s one of their considerations.)
But Albayalde also pointed out previously that it would be “detrimental” to national security if there will be too many Pogo centers near police and military camps.
“In fact, kahit talagang walang ginagawa [na iba aside from gambling], kung talagang sobra-sobra naman ‘yan, that could be also detrimental sa ating national security. That’s possible,” he said. /kga
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