Palace: Pogos not enjoying ‘blanket protection’ from gov’t
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos) are not enjoying a “blanket protection” from the government in view of controversies hounding it, Malacañang assured Wednesday.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo set the record straight that President Rodrigo Duterte is against any illegal practices involving any foreign nationals.
“Nobody is enjoying any blanket protection from this government. No sacred cows. Regardless of who they are, even if they are Filipinos,” Panelo said in an ambush interview.
“We’re prosecuting all those committing illegal acts, whether Chinese, American, foreigners. Walang sinasanto si President,” he added.
While Duterte is against corrupt practices in the country, Panelo noted he is not sure of the President’s stance on outlawing Pogos in the country.
“I don’t know if he’s open to outlaw. What I’m saying is that he is against all corrupt practices and illegal acts,” he further said.
Several senators have considered the need to craft legislation declaring Pogos as “illegal” due to the rising illicit activities that have stemmed from it.
Senator Richard Gordon earlier warned of a “creeping invasion” through Pogos due to several crimes linked to it such as suspected money laundering, prostitution, and trafficking, among others.
“What is important is we respond to whatever allegations of corruption or practices, we prosecute them, we do not countenance them,” Panelo said.
“You prosecute those involved in illegal activities. But if the legislators make it unlawful, ibang usapan yun [that’s a different story], we have to wait for the President whether he agrees or not,” he added.
Edited by JPV
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