AFP reviewing potential risks of Pogo sites near military bases

AFP reviewing potential risks of Pogo sites near PH military bases

/ 10:49 AM June 12, 2024

Pogo sites near Philippine military bases likened to ‘Trojan horse’

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MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is conducting a “thorough review” of the “potential risks” posed by Philippine Offshore Gaming Operation (Pogo) sites near military bases, its spokesperson, Col. Francel Margareth Padilla, said on Wednesday.

Padilla made this assurance amid lingering suspicions about the location of Pogo sites near AFP sites, with security expert Chester Cabalza even calling it a “Trojan horse” that could be used by China to stage a “surprise attack” against critical military installations.

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“AFP is conducting a thorough review in coordination with relevant government agencies,” Padilla said over radio dwPM.

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READ: Pogo sites near Philippine military bases likened to ‘Trojan horse’

“We’re trying to evaluate [the] potential risks associated with this operation,” she added.

Padilla said they will continue to monitor the developments and [vow] to mitigate any “threats” to national security.

“We’ll continue to monitor the situation, and we will take [the] necessary actions to mitigate any threats, if there is any, to national security,” Padilla said.

“In our part, we remain vigilant and proactive in protecting our country’s national interest,” she added.

READ: Chinese casinos near PH military camps worry DND

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However, Padilla reiterated that Pogo sites near AFP facilities are not a national security threat.

In 2019, former Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana expressed alarm about the location of casino and Pogo sites near crucial military installations.

Lorenzana even noted that the Chinese workers in Pogo facilities can shift their operations to spying.

To mitigate such risk, the former defense chief said the government should designate a  Pogo camp “far from military camps.”

“I support the idea to put them in a hub,” he then said.

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“They would be far from the military camps, so they can be controlled by authorities, and they can be monitored by immigration to see who’s getting in and out.”

TAGS: China, Pogo hubs

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