Gatchalian says panel report vs Pogos gaining support from senators
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian claimed Tuesday that a Senate panel recommendation to permanently ban the Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos) in the country already has the support of the majority of its members.
“Hindi ko muna idi-disclose sa inyo but meron na tayong nadagdagan especially after nung privilege speech,” Gatchalian said in an interview at the Senate.
(I will not disclose it to you for now, but we have gained additional support, especially after the privilege speech.)
“Mare-report out na natin ‘yun,” added the senator, who, as chairman of the Senate committee on ways and means, led the probe on the impact of the offshore gaming operations in the country.
(We can already report it.)
If the Senate adopts the committee report, Gatchalian said it would send a strong message to the executive. However, he also stressed that whether or not to adopt the panel recommendations would still be up to the executive.
READ: Gatchalian sees Marcos pulling plug on POGOs
The committee has already concluded its probe and has come up with a report but failed to secure the required number to bring it to the Senate floor for approval.
But this did not stop Gatchalian from presenting his own report to the plenary.
READ: ‘Game over’: Gatchalian wants permanent ban on POGOs
Gatchalian insisted during the interview on the need to immediately ban Pogos in the country, citing several criminal activities linked to the industry.
“Personally speaking, I’m speaking as a citizen of our country, natatakot ako eh na kumalat itong mga crime na ginagawa nila sa ating mga local dito,” he said.
(As a citizen of our country, I am afraid these crimes would spread to our locals here.)
READ: Foreigners in Filipino-Chinese kidnap-slay suspected to have POGO links
“Nakita natin mga kidnapping before, kapwa Chinese o kapwa Pogo workers ang pagkikidnap, pero may tendency ito na kumalat sa atin, ‘yun ang kinatatakutan ko. Antayin pa ba nating kumalat ‘yan bago natin sabihin i-ban na natin?”
(We have seen kidnappings involving Chinese and Pogo workers before, but there is a tendency for this to spread to our own citizens, which is what I fear. Should we wait for it to spread before we say let’s ban it?”
“Ang punto ko lang naman hindi na s’ya nakakatulong sa katahimikan ng bansa at makikita natin tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang crime,” the senator stressed.
(My point is that this is not contributing to the peace and order of the country, and we will continue to see a crime happening.)
Gatchalian emphasized that crimes are “non-negotiable” to him.
Pagcor: No Pogo-related criminal activities for over 3 months
PNP logs 38 Pogo-related criminal cases since January 2022
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