Chinese embassy appeals to PH to ban Pogos to root out social ills

Chinese embassy appeals to PH to ban Pogos to root out social ills

/ 06:03 PM June 14, 2024

The Chinese embassy in Manila appealed on Friday to the Philippine government to ban Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogos) to root out “social ills.”

A mass deportation of involved Chinese nationals is seen being implemented after their arrest following a raid of a Pasay City-based Philippine offshore gaming operator (Pogo) hub in October. They were found to have no working permits and engaged in “online scams.” Photo shows them lining up for pre-departure procedures at the Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. INQUIRER file photo / NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines – The Chinese embassy in Manila appealed on Friday to the Philippine government to ban Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogos) to root out “social ills.”

In a statement, the embassy said the Chinese government strictly cracks down on Chinese citizens engaging in gambling business abroad, including Pogos.

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“Ample evidence shows that Pogo breeds serious crimes such as kidnapping for ransom, human trafficking, and murder. Pogo is detrimental to both Philippine and Chinese interests and images and China-Philippines relations,” said the embassy.

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It likewise noted that China has assisted the Philippines in shutting down five Pogo hubs and repatriating nearly 1,000 Chinese citizens in 2023 alone.

With this, the embassy denied what it called “baseless accusation and smearing” against China in connection with Pogos.

“The vast majority of the Chinese citizens involved in these cases are victims of the Philippine offshore gambling industry. The Chinese government is committed to protecting the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens. We appeal to the Philippines to ban Pogo at an early date so as to root out this social ill,” it said.

Several lawmakers have been urging President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to completely ban Pogos in the Philippines, pointing out that these only “made the country a fertile ground for various crimes.”

Suspended mayor Alice Guo’s alleged ties to Pogos reignited this call.

READ: I am not a spy – Bamban Mayor Alice Guo

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Guo has been the subject of scrutiny after the Senate panel on women bared her alleged ties to Zun Yuan Technology, an illegal Pogo hub in Bamban, Tarlac.

The local official, however, denied this allegation, including circulating claims that she is a Chinese spy.

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TAGS: China, Chinese Embassy in Manila, POGOs

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