Suspects in Makati shooting used fake People’s Liberation Army IDs

The shooting incident in Makati that killed one Chinese national and injured one other last week continues to be shrouded in mystery after it was discovered over the weekend that two of the captured suspects had fake People’s Liberation Army (PLA) IDs in their possession.

It was on Thursday night when victim Yin Jian Tao was shot to death inside Jiang-Nan Hot Pot restaurant in Makati, while his wife Kai Zheng was injured. The suspects were their companions, all of whom were also Chinese nationals. Two suspects named Yang Chao Wen and Liang Yuan Wu were captured immediately and found to be carrying the PLA IDs, while three others escaped from the crime scene.

“The suspects are not members of the People’s Liberation Army. Identification cards of the PLA were just found in their personal belongings but they are not the man on those ID cards. The names and faces there are different” from their actual IDs, Makati Police Chief Col. Rogelio Simon told CNN Philippines.

Read: Chinese national allegedly shot dead by compatriots in Makati restaurant, wife injured

The Philippine Daily Inquirer reports that the name written in both of the IDs was “Liu Sheng Zhen,” and that he was listed as a “kitchen worker” in the PLA, the Chinese military. Yang and Liang did not explain to the police why they carried the IDs, but said that Liu was their colleague in the Philippine offshore gaming operator (POGO) where they worked.

While POGOs have come under increasing fire in recent months after being blamed for rising crime, the accusations against the gambling hubs reached a whole new level shortly after the discovery of the IDs. Senator Richard Gordon is now claiming he has received information that POGOs, which employ mostly Chinese nationals, are being used to bring money into the Philippines to fund Beijing’s espionage activities in the country. He further claimed that some Chinese nationals in the country have been assuming the names of dead Filipinos with the help of corrupt officials working in town registry offices, the Inquirer reports.

He did not, however, offer any evidence to support the claims.

POGOs have popped up in key cities across the country since President Rodrigo Duterte came into power, at least in part thanks to his close ties with the Chinese government. Several politicians, however, are now calling for their closure because their presence has allegedly led to an increase in various crimes, from kidnapping to prostitution.

This article, Suspects in Makati shooting used fake People’s Liberation Army IDs, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!