MANILA – The Philippine National Police- Anti Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) said it would ask the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) for it to be included in the inspections of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) establishments in the country.
“First of all, we want the participation of the PNP, especially the ACG. We should be active in the conduct of inspections so that we can immediately see if there are any problems within POGOs. Right now we are not doing this, PNP is not included. Hopefully, we can institutionalize the presence of the PNP, especially the ACG here in monitoring the inspections that PAGCOR will do," ACG director Brig. Gen. Sidney Hernia said in a press briefing in Camp Crame, Quezon City on Monday.
The proposal came after the PNP found that seven fugitives were among the foreign workers who were rescued during a search warrant operation at a compound housing an alleged illegal POGO in Las Piñas City late last month.
The fugitives were already turned over to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for deportation.
Hernia, meanwhile, said they would submit inputs on policies on POGOs to the state gaming regulatory agency for its consideration.
“Makakatulong ito para hindi na tayo pupunta doon sa puro na lang police operations. Raid dito, raid doon. Ang daming naaapektuhan. Most likely, mas maganda na sa policy level na ang ating gagawin (These policy changes would help so we no longer depend on numerous police operations. Raids come one right after another. So many people are affected. Most likely, it would be better if they involve us at the policy level),” Hernia stressed.
Hernia also said that some foreign workers who were rescued during a search warrant operation at a compound housing an alleged illegal POGO in Las Piñas are set to be repatriated to their country.
Hernia said the BI is set to issue an allow departure order (ADO) for foreigners who have been profiled and cleared during the operation.
“We are waiting for that ADO para makauwi na itong mga foreign nationals and in our coordination with the different representatives of the embassies ay willing naman sila lahat i-shoulder ang expenses para makauwi na sa kani-kanilang mga bansa itong mga foreign nationals. In fact today, our ground commander will have another meeting with the representatives of the different embassies para maplantsa yung pag uwi nung mga foreign nationals na nasa Las Piñas. We have recommended all of them be repatriated (We are waiting for that ADO so that these foreign nationals can return home and in our coordination with the different representatives of the embassies they are all willing to shoulder the expenses so that these foreign nationals can return to their respective countries. In fact our ground commander will have another meeting with the representatives of the different embassies so that the return home of the foreign nationals in Las Piñas can be ironed out. We have recommended all of them to be repatriated),” said Hernia.
For his part, PNP chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. expressed alarm over the discovery of fugitives in raids conducted in POGO firms.
“That is one of the reports that we received coming from our operating units wherein there were some fugitives that were captured in these POGO operations and what is being said is this really the practice or modus operandi that our fugitives use to hide in this kind of hub, there is a possibility. We are intensifying our efforts as far as the illegal operations of these types of business,” Acorda told reporters.
Last week, PAGCOR issued cease and desist order that effectively shut down the operation of Xinchuang Network Technology, Inc., in Las Piñas City.
In a show cause order issued on July 2, the agency ordered Xinchuang to explain in detail its defense against the allegations and why its Certificate of Accreditation and Authority to Operate should not be canceled.
It also ordered the firm to cease and desist from all offshore gaming activities pending the completion of the investigation being conducted by the PNP. (PNA)