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House probe on Chinese sex dens in PH sought

/ 01:52 PM December 12, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers from the House Makabayan bloc are calling for an investigation into the proliferation of prostitution rings catering to Chinese Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) workers here.

Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas, Bayan Muna Reps. Carlos Zarate, Eufemia Cullamat, and Ferdinand Gaite, ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro, and Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago filed House Resolution No. 604 on Thursday.

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In Metro Manila, authorities have recently busted prostitution rings exclusively catering to Chinese workers in the POGO sector, the lawmakers noted in the resolution, citing the recent operation of the National Bureau of Investigation, which rescued 91 Chinese and four Filipino women in October from a karaoke bar in Makati City that served as sex ring for Chinese clients.

The party-list representatives said prostitution rings are usually disguised as karaoke bars and wellness centers, or operating within hotels and condominiums in Metro Manila, with transactions facilitated through social media.

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Recent raids have also revealed that Chinese, Vietnamese, Malaysian and Filipino women are victimized for escort services in the sex dens. They said Chinese sex dens usually charge P15,000 for Filipina escort services and P20,000-P30,000 for Chinese escorts.

“Such proliferation of Chinese prostitution rings demonstrates the social implications of the expanding POGO sector in the country on top of the economic losses incurred by the national government due to non-payment of taxes by illegal Chinese POGO workers,” the Makabayan lawmakers said.

The congressmen said there is an urgent need to address the rising cases of prostitution and human trafficking alongside the growth of POGOs in the country and to enforce and strengthen laws against sexual violence and human trafficking victimizing women.

“The Philippines cannot just take pride in being top 1 in gender equality ranking in Asia while turning a blind eye in the abuse and victimization of Asian women in the illicit operations of POGOs within the country,” the solons said.

Republic Act No. 9208 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act penalizes the promotion of human trafficking and the engagement of services of trafficked persons. The law also recognizes trafficked persons as victims who will not be penalized for unlawful acts in relation to human trafficking.

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TAGS: Chinese, House probe, Human trafficking, POGOs, prostitution, sex dens, Sexual abuse
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