Senate scrutinizes regulations on POGO ops amid rise of Chinese prostitution dens in Phl

Maris Federez


MANILA, Philippines — The Senate is taking on the proposal that seeks to suspend the operation of the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) in the country.

The move is due to an increase in Chinese prostitution dens involving POGO employees.

In the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality hearing on Tuesday (Jan. 28), Senator Risa Hontiveros presented several screenshots of an alleged group chat in a messaging app, WeChat, where the transaction is taking place.

Hontiveros said girls with a corresponding package price for their “services” are being offered to clients.

The lady senator also presented alias Carina, a minor who had become a victim of human trafficking.

Alias Carmina claims that she was made to believe that she would be working as a massage therapist. She found out later that her being a massage therapist also comes with what she said as “extra service”.

“Ang boss ko doon ay isang Chinese national at asawa niyang Filipina. Kinuhanan ako ng picture na sa pagkakaalam ko ay in-upload sa mga chat sa internet,” alias Carina said.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said they have noticed the mushrooming number of Chinese prostitution dens since the establishment of POGO in the country, with POGO employees as clients.

The Makati City Police also said that some of the workers in the prostitution dens that they had rescued did not have working visas and were just holding tourist visas.

“‘Yung mga passport nila, at saka ‘yung mga visas, hawak-hawak ng mga maintainers. Hindi nila binibigay. ‘Yun ‘yung karamihang problema namin diyan, ma’am,” said PMaj. Gideon Ines, chief of the Makati City Police Criminal Investigation Unit.

Hontiveros said that they will also check how far the extent of the Chinese prostitution industry in the country has gone.

The Makati City Police called on business establishment owners to coordinate with authorities for the arrest of operators of Chinese prostitution dens in the city.

Malacañang, meanwhile, said that they will launch an investigation on the reported Chinese prostitution that has affected the POGO industry in the country.

“We will have that investigated, if that is true then we will have to do something about it, like stopping prostitution and arresting those who are involved in it,” said Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Sec. Salvador Panelo. — (from the report of Harlene Delgado) /mbmf

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