DILG shuts down POGO facility, rescues trafficked workers in Pampanga

DILG shuts down POGO facility, rescues trafficked workers in Pampanga
Among these is requiring foreigners who are seeking to work as POGO employees in the country to first secure national police clearances, PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said.

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has closed down a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) based in Pampanga on Saturday after it was found to be involved in several human trafficking cases of Chinese nationals.

Lucky 99 South Outsourcing, Inc. was also found to be operating without a license. DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos said the agency will continue to look for those involved in the shuttered POGO’s operations.

“Tinutugis ng ating mga kapulisan ang mga iba pang implicated dito. Of course, tayo to exact accountability is, ginawa natin yung sulat sa PAGCOR (Philippine Amusement Gaming Corp.) at sa Securities and Exchange Commission para matukoy natin kung sino talaga dapat managot,” Abalos said.

(Our police officers are going after those implicated in this crime. Of course, we are getting accountability, we already wrote to PAGCOR and to the Securities Exchange Commission so we know who would be held responsible for these operations.)

READ: POGOs warned of closure if found involved in kidnappings

Abalos, together with other DILG officials, the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG), and officials from PAGCOR, and barangay officials, were part of Saturday’s operation.

The group also found 40 Chinese nationals and 200 other workers in a nearby hotel without documentation or other relevant paperwork such as passports while they were investigating Lucky 99 South Outsourcing.

“Sisiguruhin natin na lahat sila ay madocument nang maigi ng Bureau of Immigration kasi baka mamaya mabiktima na naman sila,” Abalos said.

(We will ensure that they will be documented thoroughly by the Bureau of Immigration because they might be endangered again.)

READ: POGOs come under scrutiny again in Senate probe on kidnappings 

DILG said it also recently documented one kidnapped Chinese national and 42 other trafficked workers in the same area.

Earlier this month, the PNP-AKG said cases of kidnapping that involved POGO workers increased 25%.

An AKG report showed that 15 POGO-related kidnapping cases were logged from January to Septemeber, up from the 12 recorded in the same period last year. 

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