Local execs take steps to ban Pogo in Pampanga

Local execs take steps to ban Pogo in Pampanga

Lilia Pineda Pampanga Vice Governor

Pampanga Vice Governor Lilia Pineda

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, PAMPANGA, Philippines — The town mayors of Pampanga province, supported by Gov. Dennis Pineda, have drafted a resolution strongly opposing the presence of Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos) in the province.

Pineda said on Tuesday he had given his “full backing” to a resolution prepared by the provincial chapter of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines aimed at making Pogo companies not welcome in Pampanga.


The still unnumbered resolution, briefly shown to the Inquirer by a source, expressed “collective opposition of the Pampanga Mayors’ League to the operations of Pogo in the province of Pampanga,” the draft resolution stated.


READ: Pampanga Pogo linked to scams, trafficking; 186 rescued in raid

Not the first

One part of the proposed measure called for a “moratorium” of Pogo’s presence in the province until an eventual ban was imposed.

Sought for comment, Pineda, in a phone interview, emphasized that it was the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) that required municipal or city governments—not the provincial governments—to issue a letter of no objection (Lono) to Pogo companies seeking to establish itself in any part of the province.

In the case of Lucky South 99 Outsourcing, which was raided in Porac town by the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) on June 4 and 5, the firm used the Lono for business process outsourcing activities in 2019 and 2020 to obtain business permits to run a Pogo hub in the town in 2021, 2023 and 2024, documents obtained by the provincial board during a hearing on June 14 showed.

The hub, located in a complex that straddles Porac and Angeles City, has 46 buildings, including villas and other structures, as well as a golf course, PAOCC has earlier reported.

The raid, which was based on a warrant issued by Malolos Regional Trial Court Branch 14 Judge Maria Belinda Rama, was sought by PAOCC against the officers and employees of Lucky South 99 after the agency received information about the sexual trafficking of a female foreigner and the torture of male foreigners within the hub.


The operation resulted to the rounding up of over 190 individuals inside the Pogo complex but most of Lucky South 99’s officers were also to flee before the raiding team arrived, leading PAOCC to suspect that there were persons privy to the planned raid who had tipped them off.

Vice Gov. Lilia Pineda, the mother of the governor, said the provincial board would object to the operations of Pogo, whether legal or illegal, because Lucky South 99 was the second Pogo raided for many violations, including human trafficking and torture.

The first, Colorful and Leap Group, was raided inside the Clark Freeport in May 2023.

Police rescued over 1,000 workers, mostly foreigners, from Colorful and Leap Group.

Days after the raid, Sen. Risa Hontiveros revealed that Colorful and Leap Group, a sublessee of Pogo firm CGC Technologies Inc. that is licensed by Pagcor, has been used as a legal cover for a cryptocurrency scam and human trafficking operation in Sun Valley Hub Corp. in Clark, Pampanga.

Be warned

“The provincial board is already objecting to it since there have been several raids inside Clark and Porac. How can we allow it? Not anymore. I’m not sure if the local government units share the same sentiment. But we will warn them,” she said.

According to the vice governor, who was governor of the province before her son assumed the post, they would take steps to penalize local officials and department heads who showed “lapses” involving the operation of Pogo hubs in the province.

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Laywer Agnes Devanadera, Clark Development Corp. president and chief executive officer, banned Pagcor from allowing Pogos to locate and do business in Clark.

TAGS: ban POGOs, Lilia Pineda, Pampanga

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