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Senate summons ‘Rodriguez group’ amid dirty money mess

/ 04:34 PM March 05, 2020
Sen. Richard Gordon chairs senate blue ribbon committee hearing on the alleged money laundering and other crimes associated with the operations of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) in the country on March 5. INQUIRER.NET PHOTO/CATHY MIRANDA

Sen. Richard Gordon chairs the Senate blue ribbon committee that hears the alleged money laundering and other crimes associated with the operations of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) in the country on March 5. INQUIRER.net PHOTO / CATHY MIRANDA

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Richard Gordon, who heads the Senate blue ribbon committee, on Thursday issued a subpoena to seven individuals being linked in smuggling dirty money into the country.

The seven individuals are a part of the “Rodriguez” group—one of the two suspected syndicates that allegedly brought into the Philippines about P18.7 billion in alleged laundered cash.

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The subpoena ad testificandum released by Gordon’s office was addressed to the following:

  • Mary Rose Rodriguez
  • Janet S. Rodriguez
  • John Joshua G. Rodriguez
  • Michael Julian Rodriguez Calderon
  • Simon John G. Rodriguez
  • Natasha S. Rodriguez
  • Elizabeth Rodriguez

Following the Senate blue ribbon committee’s hearing into the alleged money laundering, crimes, and other nefarious activities associated with Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogo), Gordon said he will get the Rodriguez group arrested if they will not show up in the next hearing.

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“They are part of [a] pyramiding network. They sell beauty products… Lahat sila member nun. I am amazed ang lakas ng loob nila eh [all of them are members of that. I am amazed they have the guts doing that],” Gordon told reporters.

Gordon also believes he has enough evidence to link the group in the scheme.

“Putting so much money into our country, you can practically change the dollar value and the peso value. You can actually create a bubble with all that money,” Gordon said.

“I think they are using the money essentially una sa [firts of all] property. Some people are putting in the money and yun ang ginagamit pambili ng property [and that what they use to purchase property],” he added.

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero earlier reported that the Rodriguez group was able to sneak in about $200.24 million or P10.13 billion from July 2019 up to January this year.

Couriers of the suspected money are paid P12,000 to P50,000 per flight, said Guerrero.

Edited by JPV
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TAGS: blue ribbon committee, Money Laundering, Richard Gordon, Rodriguez group, Senate
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