Chinese nationals: Business legal, CIDG raid illegal
Iris Hazel M. Mascardo (The Freeman) - September 12, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The camp of the 181 Chinese nationals arrested Saturday for alleged illegal online gambling said it has documents to show that it was operating legally.

The counsel of Xin Huang Jin Cheng Corporation, in a statement, said the company can show papers allowing it to operate and that, therefore, the raid conducted by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group was invalid.

According to the statement, PAGCOR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Andrea Domingo had “certified” that all the operations of the company have been accredited.

Thus, the company can allegedly perform and provide services as a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO).

Manuel Jeffrey David, one of the company’s counsels, explained that their operation was not directly gambling but rather providing services related to offshore gaming, that is why the company is akin to a business process outsourcing firm.

“It’s in the office (the licenses)… We told them that we are a licensed corporation and we showed them the licenses but they just brushed it aside,” David said.

Such licenses, he added, were posted inside the office as per instruction of the PAGCOR but police never allegedly considered them during the raid.

David said they will present the documents to support their claims in the proper forum.

Meanwhile, Police Regional Office-7 chief Brigadier General Debold Sinas yesterday said that when the raid was conducted, CIDG had a valid search warrant that was based on “a process and surveillance.”

He added that the CIDG had already looked for the permits of the company during the surveillance.

However, Sinas said that the permit shown was a permit for a BPO company, contrary to the operation, which was allegedly online gambling.

Sinas maintained that when the raid was conducted, the CIDG asked the Chinese for a permit to valudate the gambling operation but none was presented.

“Supposed to be pag online gaming, walay local na makataya. Eh nakataya sila eh, that is their ground to apply the search warrant,” he said.

“We will let the Prosecutor’s Office decide. Dili na mi mag-muddle sa investigation kasi gibuhat na and it has already been submitted for resolution. If they have permit or whatsoever, let the CIDG justify their actions,” added the PRO-7 chief.

CIDG-7 chief Police Colonel Lito Patay, for his part, explained that the operation last Saturday was in support to the directive of President Duterte to allow the POGO in the Philippines to generate more income.

“Gi operate namo ni… during the surveillance, wala ni silay permit nga POGO. And they acted as POGO,” Patay clarified.

He added that under the PAGCOR manual, 10 percent of the revenues will be given to the government.

“Naa man gu’y mga issue nga gisabotahe namo ang economic income sa country. No. In fact, dapat ma-acknowledge pa ang effort sa PNP ani,” Patay said.

Xin Huang, he said, appears to be a POGO but has not actually paid the corresponding taxes and was using BPO permit allegedly as front.

Meanwhile, Sinas said that they have already addressed the necessities of the arrestees by housing them in a more comfortable venue with proper medical assistance.  (FREEMAN)

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