Pimentel backs Pogo ban: PH should not be criminals’ playground
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines should not be a playground for criminals, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III said on Tuesday.
Pimentel said he had signed the report of Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, head of the upper chamber’s ways and means panel, who recommended a permanent ban on Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos).
“We do not want the Philippines to be the playground of criminal syndicates which are attracted to businesses like gambling. We should start worrying for the future generations of Filipinos. Their land should not be the criminals’ playground,” Pimentel told INQUIRER.net in a text message.
The legislator pointed out that the Pogo industry targets bettors and players from China, where gambling is outlawed.
“This is not a business investment that we should cherish. It is gambling, and it offends our giant neighbor. Pogo is an undesirable business model and is not good neighborly behavior on our part,” he said.
Pimentel also noted that Pogos had shaken up the peace and order of the country by showing blatant lack of respect for Philippine laws.
Among those who have likewise backed the bid to pull the plug on Pogos is Sen. Risa Hontiveros, who joins Pimentel in the two-member minority bloc of the upper chamber.
Hontiveros had earlier urged Malacañang to support the proposed Pogo phaseout, noting that the industry was not doing the country any good.