Illegal Pogos enjoy protection from 'enforcers', says lawmaker | Inquirer News

Illegal Pogos enjoy protection from ‘enforcers’, says lawmaker

/ 08:30 PM April 25, 2024

Philippine offshore gaming operator (Pogo) - Noy Morcoso /


MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said  illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogos) have now “penetrated” middle to high-ranking “enforcers” in the country who now serve as their “protectors.”

Gatchalian, during the Kapihan sa Senado forum on Thursday, cited the Pogo hub in Bamban, Tarlac that he and Senator Risa Hontiveros visited and inspected on Wednesday.


He said the hub has a villa that costs around P44 million.


“So, ang impression ko dyan, kung sinuman ang namuhunan doon, alam niya may protection siya. Dahil hindi ka mamumuhunan ng malaking pondo kung alam mo mahuhuli ka rin. Kung alam mo na makukulong ka rin. So, yung mga taong pumunta doon, talagang alam nila kung paano mag-operate dito sa Pilipinas,” Gatchalian told reporters.

(So my impression on that is that whoever invested in that, he knows that he has protection. Because you wouldn’t invest if you know that you’ll only get caught in the end and eventually get jailed. So these people really know how to operate here in the Philippines.)

He said these operators are confident because even if they get apprehended, it wouldn’t matter because “they have connections above.”

“Hindi ko na muna babanggitin kung sino-sino itong mga ito, but based on the briefing and information, naka-penetrate na sila sa mga enforcers natin,” said Gatchalian.

(I would not detail who these are, but based on the briefing and information, they have penetrated our enforcers.)

Later in the forum, Gatchalian was asked to give additional information on these “middle to high ranking enforcers.”


He, however, declined but he explained that these are “enforcing agencies that implement laws related to Pogos” he added that they are “related to peace and order.”

This prompted Gatchalian to once again reiterate his call for the immediate ban on Pogos.

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Several senators have been urging President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to completely ban these firms  in the Philippines, pointing out that these only “made the country a fertile ground for various crimes.”

TAGS: Gatchalian, illegal POGO

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