PNP selling Chinese workers to Pogo firms? Azurin tells accuser to name names
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said Monday that it is “unfair” to accuse police officers of snatching Chinese workers from one Philippine offshore gaming operator (Pogo) company and selling them to another firm.
Azurin made the remark in a news briefing when asked about the allegations earlier thrown to the PNP by Ruth Pomposelli, a former operator of a licensed Las Piñas City-based Pogo company.
Pomposelli called on the government to look into her claims that operatives from the PNP Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC) raided their building last year and took at least 72 Chinese workers from their firm.
Among the 72, she alleged that 20 of their employees were sold to other Pogo firms for P500,000 each.
“I think that’s very unfair to the PNP. Although it did not happen during my time, that’s very unfair to the PNP for her to accuse the PNP of doing that. Maybe she should start naming names, so that the people that she will be naming can also defend themselves. Otherwise, the 227,000 in the PNP are all suspects,” Azurin said in a mix of English and Filipino.
According to the nation’s top cop, Pomposelli should “come [to] her senses” and start name-dropping those involved in the errant act.
“Don’t make sweeping claims about the PNP. That’s unfair to the PNP. Tell her that,” he added.
Azurin also clarified that the incident Pomposelli was referring to happened in 2021. He then noted that the PNP had filed a complaint against Pomposelli.
“What happened was the WCPC conducted an operation, but the magnitude of the arrest wasn’t too big. That’s why we had them transferred to the inter-agency task force, which involves the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD),” Azurin recalled.
The 72 Chinese workers, he said, were in the Pogo firm, but the PNP only rescued those who wanted to be rescued.
“Others opted to remain in that company,” Azurin said.
He also contradicted Pomposelli’s claim that only 52 of their workers were found in the DSWD’s office, while the others were supposedly sold to other Pogo companies.
According to Azurin, there were 58 workers, including Filipinos, who were rescued from the Pogo company Pomposelli previously worked for.
Reacting to Pomposelli’s claims, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian had expressed alarm over Chinese criminal syndicates infiltrating the PNP and conniving with them to commit crimes.
“If they have a hold of the PNP, who else will we run to? Who do we complain to?” the senator said in a tweet.
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