Rise in Pogo-linked crimes sparks call for another Senate probe | Inquirer News

Rise in Pogo-linked crimes sparks call for another Senate probe

By: - Reporter / @BPinlacINQ
/ 02:46 PM July 19, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — The recent rise in crimes allegedly linked to the Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos) has prompted Senator Sherwin Gatchalian to seek yet another probe into the matter.

Gatchalian, chair of the Senate ways and means panel, filed on Monday a resolution calling for the appropriate committee to investigate the alleged involvement of Pogos and its accredited service providers in crimes like human trafficking, kidnapping for ransom, and aiding foreign fugitives.

“The increase in Pogo-related crimes necessitates a close review of the country’s Pogo policies and assess whether the economic benefits still outweigh the social costs related to the incidents involving Pogo companies and their accredited service providers,” he said in Senate Resolution 679.


Gatchalian then cited the recent police raids on the premises of Pogo service provider Xinchuang Network Technology, Inc. in Las Piñas City and a Pogo hub in Clark Sun Valley Hub in Mabalacat City, which led to the rescue of thousands of Filipino and foreign workers.


READ: Pagcor orders shutdown of Las Piñas-based Pogo hub

“In both incidents of police raids in Clark and in Las Piñas, it was discovered that foreign fugitives were employed by Pogo-accredited service providers,” the lawmaker pointed out.

Gatchalian also cited an Inquirer report, quoting Philippine National Police chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. on the alarming “possibility” of more foreign fugitives employed in other Pogo firms.

He also snipped at Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, saying it has “failed to act on the illegal activities of its accredited service provider.”

“There is a need to review the power of Pagcor to regulate the Pogo industry as well as the capability of other law enforcement agencies to abate the commission of Pogo-related crimes in the country,” Gatchalian said.

He then underscored the “dire need” to urgently act on the crimes linked to Pogos.


“Otherwise, it will be a great disservice to the people, as well as dereliction of duty in international treaties and conventions to which the Philippines is a signatory or a member thereof, if the government will turn a blind eye on the serious encroachment on human rights,” the senator pressed.

Gatchalian had previously led a series of hearings in the Senate to look into the socio-economic impact of Pogos.

In his chairman’s report, he recommended a permanent ban on Pogos, but it has not yet garnered enough signatures from his committee members.

Gatchalian said he has since submitted his report to the Malacañang, so they can make the final decision on whether or not to pull the plug on Pogos.


‘Game over’: Gatchalian wants permanent ban on POGOs

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TAGS: Crime, Gatchalian, pogo

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