‘Itigil kaagad ito:’ Abalos orders PNP to stop providing police escorts to Pogo workers | Inquirer News

‘Itigil kaagad ito:’ Abalos orders PNP to stop providing police escorts to Pogo workers

/ 08:31 PM October 07, 2022
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to stop providing escorts to private foreign workers of the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogos).

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos. FILE PHOTO / Senate PRIB

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to stop providing escorts to private foreign workers of the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogos).

DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. on Friday called for an end to the PNP Security and Protection Group’s (PNP-PSPG) practice of deploying officers to guard certain Pogo employees whose requests for security are assessed and granted by the police.

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“Ang directive ko ay simple: Itigil kaagad ito [My directive is simple: Stop this immediately],” Abalos told reporters.

Earlier during a Senate finance subcommittee hearing on the proposed P251.18-billion budget of the DILG, PNP chief Rodolfo Azurin Jr. vowed they would reassess the list of those authorized to receive police escorts from the PNP-PSPG.

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He did, however, concede that the PNP did not anticipate that it would also need to extend security services to Pogo workers.

But at that time, Azurin only recommended sending retired police officers to guard Pogo employees instead of deploying those who are still active.

“Kailangan lang naman po nila na mayroon silang direct contact sa PNP. Kaya sila nagha-hire ng mga active na PNP. So by providing them iyong mga retired na natin na [pulis], they can still have direct contact sa PNP,” he explained.

(They hire active police officers because they need direct contact with the PNP. So by providing them with retired police escorts, they can still have contact with the PNP.)

More recently, the Pogo has been criticized for allegedly contributing to a surge in kidnappings and other crimes.
It has also reignited heated debates among groups and lawmakers, who are divided over whether or not to try once again to outlaw Pogos in the country. With reports from Kristelle Anne Razon, INQUIRER.net trainee

RELATED STORIES: 

‘Burning the house to kill the rat?’: Lawmakers weigh Pogo pros, cons 

Pogo exodus to cost PH P200B a year, Leechiu warns 

JPV/abc
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TAGS: Benhur Abalos, DILG, pogo, POGOs
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