PNP to beef up monitoring, campaign against prostitution

Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief Archie Gamboa ordered on Wednesday, January 29, the Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC) to beef up its monitoring and campaign against prostitution amid reports that it is now being conducted through messaging applications.

“PNP chief Gen. Archie Francisco has ordered the Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC) under PBGen Alessandro Abella to intensify further the campaign against prostitution in coordination with regional and local police units,” PNP spokesperson Brigadier General Bernard Banac said.

He said in 2019, the WCPC conducted various raids on alleged “sex dens” that catered to mostly Chinese nationals working in Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogo) companies in the country.

Banac said these raids resulted in the arrest of 55 suspects who operated the dens and the rescue of at least 140 women who served as sex workers.

He said the PNP-Anti-Cybercrime Group was also making efforts to address prostitution being conducted online.

Results of an investigation on the Chinese sex rings in the country which was conducted by the Senate committee on women, children, family relations were reported Tuesday by Senator Risa Hontiveros.

Hontiveros revealed that “selling” of women is now being done through webchat applications such as WeChat and Telegram.

Screenshots from a group chat obtained by Hontiveros showed “packages” of sex services offered to clients depending on the nationality of the sex worker and the length of service.

In a post on social media, Hontiveros said, “May menu services, parang restoran! ‘Yung mga babae parang inoorder lang sa app ng mga Chinese members ng group na ito parang Grabfood, may menu.”

Since the establishment of Pogo companies in the country, Chinese nationals involved in criminal activities such as corruption, extortion, prostitution and kidnapping have spiked up, based on the records of the PNP and the National Bureau of Investigation.

This prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to seek the imposition of restrictions on Pogo operations in a bid to reduce the high crime incidence.

The PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group earlier expressed alarm over the increasing number of Pogo-related kidnappings.

The police unit said the number of Chinese nationals being kidnapped has increased by 71 percent from 2018 to 2019. Majority of those responsible for the kidnapping incidents were also Chinese nationals. (SunStar Philippines)