Pangilinan urges gov’t: Heed China’s call, stop Pogos
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines should listen to China on this issue, Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said, as he urged the government to revoke the licenses of Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos) in the country in response to Beijing’s call.
“Gambling is illegal in China. This means that Chinese criminals run the Pogos here,” Pangilinan said in a statement.
“The sincerity of the anticrime and anticorruption campaign of this administration is placed in serious doubt with Chinese criminal syndicates being allowed to conduct illegal businesses freely in our midst,” the senator added.
Pangilinan said the influx of Chinese workers in the country had also given rise to several issues, among them the increase in crime involving Pogo players and financiers, racial antagonism between Chinese and Filipinos, the exploitation of Chinese workers, fly-by-night operators, and nonpayment of taxes in this industry.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) recently stopped accepting new Pogo applications until all concerns about the industry have been addressed.
In Beijing, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Wednesday that the President was “open to what the other party has to say.”
“Note that gaming operations are legal in our country. Probably what we can do is to be very strict on the grant of licenses to operators,” Panelo said in a press conference.
Although the Chinese foreign ministry last week said it was delighted by the Pagcor decision to issue a moratorium on new Pogo operators,
Geng Shuang, the ministry’s spokesperson, said Beijing was hoping that the Philippines “would go further and ban all online gambling.”
“Online gambling is a most dangerous tumor in modern society detested by people all across the world. It is a shared hope that the problem could be effectively dealt with,” Shuang said.
There are 58 Pogos in the country.
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