DOJ says shutdown ordered of 175 POGOs linked to crimes

Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 26 2022 04:27 PM | Updated as of Sep 26 2022 06:09 PM

MAINLA - At least 175 Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) have been ordered to shut down, the Department of Justice said Monday.

DOJ spokesperson Assistant Secretary Mico Clavano revealed at a televised briefing that these are POGOs whose licenses had been canceled due to their alleged involvement in certain crimes.

“Si Secretary Remulla, in-order na niya, inutusan na niya ang NBI at PNP with the assistance of PAGCOR to ensure na isarado iyong mga office ng mga ito,” Asec Clavano said.

(Justice Secretary Remulla ordered the NBI and PNP with the assistance of PAGCOR to ensure that the offices of these [POGOs] were shut)

“At ang mas nakakaabala dito po ay iyong mga umiikot sa social media na mga videos at saka pictures ng mga POGOs na may mga murder, may mga kidnapping, prostitution. Iyon po ang umaabot dito sa amin sa DOJ. Kaya, sir, nagpatawag si Secretary Remulla ng meeting para ipatigil na iyong ganitong behavior,” he added.

(What's worrying are the videos circulating showing POGOs involved in murder, kidnapping and prostitution. That's what's being reported to the DOJ that's why the Secretary called a meeting to put a stop to this)

Some 280 Chinese nationals who worked for these questionable POGOs are now under the custody of the authorities, Clavano said.

The DOJ estimated that there are over 40,000 Chinese nationals working in this industry that would be deported per batch. The department is in close coordination with the Chinese embassy as it sets to begin the process on October until December.

The DOJ refused to say if it would back a proposed policy of banning POGOs completely in the Philippines.

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno earlier said he is in favor of discontinuing POGOs due to their social repercussions.

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