outbrain
Close  

Villanueva: Why is nobody stopping POGO despite raids, non-payment of tax?

By: - Reporter / @KAguilarINQ
/ 04:05 PM June 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Joel Villanueva has slammed anew the apparent “VIP treatment” on Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGO) as he lamented how nobody in the government ever demanded a stop to the gambling trade despite numerous violations during the lockdown and continued non-payment of taxes.

Villanueva noted during a Zoom meeting with reporters Tuesday that numerous arrests have been made involving POGOs during the lockdown as their continued operations brazenly violated government-imposed strict community quarantines amid the pandemic.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Fifty-three (53) arrested, April 24. May 6, 76 arrested in Makati City. May 14, a week later, 265 [were] arrested in Las Piñas. May 29, Bacoor, Cavite, 92 arrested. June 2, Quezon City, 151 arrested. Eh puro po Pogo ‘to, puro nasa loob ng GCQ [general community quarantine],” Villanueva recalled.

READ: Authorities bust illegal POGO in Makati condominium

FEATURED STORIES

READ: Illegal POGO business in Parañaque City busted; 44 Chinese nabbed

“Every week na lang and yet no one— no one, is saying ‘O, talagang dapat itigil muna ‘yan. Dapat patawan muna natin ng buwis ‘yan,’” he added.

(Every week there seems to be an arrest yet no one— no one is saying it should really be stopped. Taxes should be imposed on them first.)

Even with the lockdown measures in place, POGOs were even earlier allowed to resume partial operations by Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation since it was said to be considered under business process outsourcing (BPOs). The government also said it needs more money for its COVID-19 response and taxes from POGO could help raise the funds.

Although Malacañang later said POGO must first pay their taxes before they are allowed to resume operations.

However, according to Villaneuva, “Until now, as I was told, wala pa ring nagbabayad na bago. Zero pa din. It means dapat, hindi sila mag-resume. I don’t know if they would agree with me because it appears they are resuming their operations.”

(Until now, as I was told, no new POGO has settled their taxes. Still at zero. It means they should not resume operations. I don’t know if they would agree with me because it appears they are resuming their operations.)

ADVERTISEMENT

“Talagang may VIP treatment. Hangga’t hindi tayo nagmamatigas, hangga’t hindi nagmamatigas ang gobyerno na dapat silang magbayad ng buwis, I don’t think magbabayad sila ng buwis,” he went on.

(There is really a VIP treatment. Until we are firm about them paying their taxes to the government, I don’t think they will.)

Read Next
EDITORS' PICK
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: gambling, Joel Villanueva, lockdown, Philippine offshore gaming operation, pogo, Taxes
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.