Amid rise in Pogo-related kidnapping, PNP to ramp up police visibility in key cities
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday vowed to bolster its efforts to combat the rise in kidnapping cases related to Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogo), including the deployment of more police officers in Pogo hotspots like Paranaque, Pasay, and Makati.
The Philippine Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (PCCCII) earlier claimed that there have been 56 kidnapping incidents “for the last ten days” since September 6, but the PNP later refuted this after discussing it with representatives from the PCCCII.
According to the PNP—Anti-Kidnapping Group, there had only been 27 kidnapping cases so far recorded in 2020, and among those, 20 are linked to Pogo.
READ: To set record straight, PNP says only 27 kidnapping cases so far in 2022
“There’s a need na i-beef up po namin iyong (to beef up our) police presence in entertainment cities and areas, specifically in Paranaque, Pasay, and Makati,” PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said in a press briefing.
He noted that several police officers – most of whom are from the PNP headquarters – have since been deployed to increase police visibility in the said areas.
But Azurin lamented the currently lacking records of foreigners coming to the country to work for Pogo companies. He pointed out the need for the PNP to closely coordinate with the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in coming up with such a roundup.
“We also need to know, identify saan iyong offices nila dahil kahapon, may mga nag-crop up po na iyong ibang Pogo na nago-operate, hindi man lang kumukuha ng business permit sa mga respective municipalities that they are operating in,” he added.
(We also need to identify where their offices are because yesterday, it was raised that some operating Pogo companies do not even acquire business permits from their respective municipalities.)
Aside from the BI, Azurin said the PNP will also work with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation to identify the licensed Pogo operators in the country.
Foreigners intending to work in the country should likewise be required to obtain a national police clearance upon their entry, according to the country’s top cop.
“[Para] nang sa ganoon, nalalaman po natin kung sila po ay nandito pa. Are they still working in the same company na pinasukan nila or lumipat na po sila? Sila po ba ay overstaying na? Kailangan may nagmo-monitor nito,” he said.
(With this, we’ll know if they are still here. We’ll also know if they are with the same company they first worked at or if they’ve transferred. Are they overstaying? Someone needs to monitor these things.)
Even their place of residence must be declared and frequently checked as Azurin pointed out that Pogo workers often stay in one house.
“Usually, they go together as a group. They stay together as a group. So, iyong mga barangay leader natin, kailangan malaman natin at makita po nila kung nandoon pa o kumpleto pa po iyong nagrerenta sa kanila. Para at least, kahit papaano, maramdaman din po ng Pogo employees na we also care for their welfare and safety kapag nandito po sila sa ating bansa,” he added.
(Usually, they go together as a group. They stay together as a group. Our village leaders should know and check whether they’re still complete in the house they’re renting. So at least, in one way or another, Pogo employees feel that we also care for their welfare and safety especially when they’re in our country.)
PNP warns raps vs peddlers of fake news on kidnapping
Grace Poe wants Senate to probe incidents of kidnapping
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.