PNP to file case vs Chinese tagged in kidnapping, human trafficking of POGO workers

Joyce Balancio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 15 2022 06:10 PM

MANILA - The Philippine National Police (PNP) said Thursday it will file a case against the Chinese national who was arrested on suspected crimes against Chinese workers in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) industry.

The development came after the police rescued 43 Chinese POGO workers in in Angeles City, Pampanga on Wednesday. One Chinese was reportedly abducted.

Police spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said they may have been victims of human trafficking.

"Ngayong araw ay inaasahan natin na makakapag-file na po ng kaso ang PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group laban nga po doon sa naaresto natin na isang Chinese national, pertaining na rin po dito sa isang reported kidnapping plus nga po doon sa 42 na biktima ng human trafficking," Fajardo said in a public briefing.

“Ang nakikita natin na isang factor diyan is iyong mabilis silang nakakapunta dito sa ating bansa, through that means nare-recruit nila iyong kanilang kapwa foreign nationals para magtrabaho dito, pero pagdating nila dito ay they are being held against their will,” she added.

Fajardo said the victims were ordered to work without knowing this was meant for the POGO industry.

Video from PTV

"Ngayon tinitingnan natin kung ito ay bordering already sa human trafficking, not more on kidnapping because they are being detained against their will,” she added.

The PNP said there will be maximum police presence and visibility in areas where POGOs are located.

They will also take into account the “protective agents” of these POGO operators who may be involved in illegal acts, said Fajardo.

“Isa iyan sa mga tintingnan para nga po maiwasan na itong bodyguards ay nagagamit din bilang armed goons nitong operators and workers po diyan sa mga POGO,” Fajardo added.

The police official said her agency is also asking assistance from the Bureau of Immigration to identify who among the Chinese nationals they rescued do not have legitimate working visa and should be deported.