PAOCC monitoring ‘fake hospitals’ with POGO links

By Darryl John Esguerra

May 15, 2024, 3:47 pm

<p>Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission spokesperson Dr. Winston John Casio. <em>(PTV Screengrab)</em></p>

Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission spokesperson Dr. Winston John Casio. (PTV Screengrab)

MANILA – The Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) said Wednesday it is monitoring hospitals with supposed links to illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).

This as the PAOCC recently raided a hospital at Hobbies of Asia Building along Macapagal Avenue in Pasay City for illegally operating without license and allegedly has links to POGOs.

In a Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon public briefing, PAOCC spokesperson Winston John Casio said the unlicensed Pasay hospital is not the only fake hospital in PAOCC’s radar.

He said they suspect that POGO workers who were injured and tortured were brought to these scrupulous hospitals to be treated to avoid being detected by Philippine authorities.

“Meron kaming mga impormasyon na natatanggap na merong mga POGO workers na nato-torture, mga nakikita natin na barilan at saksakan ng foreign nationals, dito dinadala sa mga ospital na katulad nito (We have received information that POGO workers who are foreigners and have been tortured, whom we see in the news being shot and stabbed, they are taken to hospitals like this)” Casio said.

“Ang tanong bakit? Sapagkat hindi na po sila hihingi sa inyo ng maraming documentation at identification. Hindi tulad sa Philippine hospitals na legal, talagang bubusisiin nila kung sino po kayo (Why? Because they will no longer ask you for a lot of documentation and identification. Unlike in legitimate Philippine hospitals, they will really check who you are)” he added.

He said they now have information about one of the owners of the raided Pasay hospital, where unlicensed foreigners work as doctors, nurses, and pharmacists.

He said they are now coordinating with the Department of Justice for the filing of appropriate charges.

"Meron na ho kaming idea kung sino yung isa sa may ari nito, pero pinapahukay pa natin ng mas malalaiman kung sino pa ang kanilang mga kasama doon (We already have an idea as to the identity of one of the owners, but we are still digging to find out more about who their companions are)” Casio said. (PNA)