Pogo workers in Parañaque village an ‘intra-associational issue’ – homeowners president
MANILA, Philippines — The president of the homeowners association of a Parañaque subdivision questioned the move of some residents to place under the national spotlight complaints regarding the occupancy of Philippine offshore gaming operator (Pogo) workers of properties inside the village.
In a phone interview with INQUIRER.net on Monday, Multinational Village Homeowners Association President Arnel Gacutan belied claims regarding the subdivision’s firing range and assured that policies HAD long been placed to address overcrowding of some residences.
According to Gacutan, a public hearing at the city hall has already been conducted between the local officals, association officials, and complainants regarding the Pogo occupants inside the subdivision.
The public hearing was conducted in December last year and a second one will be held on Tuesday, he added.
Gacutan noted that the homeowners themselves rent out their places.
“Ang katwiran nila, right over property wala naman batas na nagbabawal na magpaupa sila. Ngayon, ang magiging posisyon lang namin dito bilang mga opisyales ay magtakda ng mga policy. Policy, mga rules and regulations, irregulate sila di ba?” he said.
[They claim they’re not violating any law by renting out their place since these are their property. So our position as officials of the association is to set the policies, rules and regulations.]
“Yung atin namang policy ay ‘di lamang para sa mga Chinese kung hindi sa lahat ng umuupa, regardless of nationality. They have to follow our rules and regulations regarding dun sa mga renter,” he added.
[Our policy does not just apply to only to Chinese nationals but to all people renting out properties in the village.]
He then lamented how the homeowners aired their complaints through radio interviews and even during a Senate hearing even after they agreed to settle the issue among themselves.
“Ang problem sa kanila, dinala nila yung issue kung saan-saan, umoo lang sila (to settle the issue), after a day, nagpa-interview na kung saan-saang mga radio station. Sa telebisyon at nakakagulat nga pati yung issue, napunta pa sa Senate. E yun naman issue na yan is between our homeowners e, intra-association dispute lang yan e. Sana, sabi ko nga, kami ang mag-ayos. Wag na kaming sumali dun sa mga importanteng issue na tinatalakay sa Senado,” he said.
[The problem is they agreed to settle the issue, but then after a day went on air over radio and television to ventilate the issue through interviews. It even reached the Senate. The issue is between our homeowners, it’s an intra-association dispute. I told the homeowners we should just settle the issue among ourselves and not drag the Senate which is discussing more important issues.]
“We will settle it among ourselves. Kasi umoo lang e, after pagtalikod ko, kinabukasan, ang dami nang paninira sa amin, andami nang pinupuntahang mga stasyon nagpapa-interview…naninira, ako naman, sabi ko, wala akong panahon sa siraan, ang gusto ko lang mag-focus kami dito sa trabaho natin sa Multinational,” he added.
Gacutan also clarified that the firing range that was allegedly being used by Chinese occupants of the subdivision is actually still in the middle of construction.
“Yung firing range naman ay hindi ginawa to para sa mga Chinese e, nagulat nga kami nakalagay na siya sa Facebook na itong firing range ay ginagamit ng People’s Liberation Army, nagulat kami,” he said.
“Kanina may pumunta galing sa mga proper authority, sinilip nila yung firing range, ni wala pang bakas ng paggamit kasi hindi pa nga natatapos,” he added.
Gacutan said to avoid further escalation of controversies surrounding the firing range, the association decided to just convert it either into a bowling ally or a wellness center.
“Yung firing range is one of the amenities of the association, it was constructed in an open space or common area owned by the association,” he explained.
“Dahil nga nagkaron ng kontrobersiya, merong mga gustong ipagpatuloy, merong mga umaayaw kaya tinigil muna namin (ang construction),” he said.
“Para yung firing range na ‘yan ay di na makagulo sa storya, napagdesisyunan na ng board ko na i-convert na lang yan into other amenities. Pwede yang bowling alley, pwede yang wellness center anything na pwedeng pakinabangan ng aking mga homeowners,” he added.
Gacutan then assured homeowners that the subdivision is secured and that the association will not tolerate any violation of its rules regardless of nationality.
“Sa security, 300 CCTV cameras meron sarili kaming command center, monitored yan 24/7,” he said.
With regard to possible crimes within the subdivision, Gacutan said that there are no major crimes being committed by Chinese Pogo workers.
Nevertheless, he advised homeowners to exercise vigilance and report any violations or crimes within the subdivision.
“Ang sabi ko nga sa mga homeowners ko ay be vigilant. Kung meron silang napapansin na hindi kanais-nais, hindi lang mga Chinese, even other nationalities, even Filipino, na merong mga hindi kanais-nais na napapansin nila na mga ginagawa o activities doon sa loob ng bahay ay agad nlang ipagbigay alam sa administrasyon ng Multinational at kami naman ay makikipagugnayan dun sa mga proper authorities which is the police. Kami ang magigng mata,” he said.
“Kailangan vigilant kami na malaman namin kung may mga kalokohan silang ginagawa e hindi namin kukunsintihin,” he added.
Gacutan also told INQUIRER.net that the office of Sen. Richard Gordon, who is leading an investigation on crimes linked to the Pogo industry, has invited him to attend the next hearing on the issue.
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