AMID reports a rise in kidnappings related to illegal gaming operations overseas in the country, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) has strengthened its cooperation with partner government and law enforcement agencies.
At an interagency meeting last Tuesday, Pagcor, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) committed to helping protect the welfare and safety of not only Filipinos, but also working foreign nationals. in the country.
Pagcor Chairman and CEO, Alejandro H.
“The president told us to crack down because the image of the country and this administration is tarnished by these illegal incidents,” said Tenko, partly from the Philippines. He added that the first step in the interagency undertaking is to identify the illegal operators.
“The information we have received is that these troubling incidents of kidnapping came from the ranks of the illegal operators,” Tenko said. “Although it will be a challenge for all the agencies involved, the good thing is that we are receiving information about the whereabouts of these illegal operations. With everyone’s help, we will be able to get to ground zero immediately.”
The Pagcor chief added that the licensed POGO operators have also demonstrated their commitment to helping address the issue by “setting up their ranks”.
First, they will now require people to contain themselves in an area for safety and security purposes. Second, they will come out with an updated list of their employees because some of them have already quit. Third, we will require them to submit a police clearance along with their application for an Overseas Game License (OGEL) Employment ID,” Tengco said. “At least, those who apply, we already know their record is clean.”
If the kidnapping of foreign workers in the country is not mitigated, the CEO of Pagcor has warned that the consequences could affect even legitimate POGO operators.
“If kidnappings and other illegal activities continue, it is clear that we will not only revoke the licenses of POGO operators, but the entire industry may be affected by any decision of the national government,” Tengco said. “So let’s help each other solve these issues as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, Philippine National Police Chief General Rodolfo S. Azureen The PNP is doing its best to ensure the safety and security of everyone – including foreign nationals working in the country.
“But first, there has to be respect for our law. Some of the worst reported cases involved kidnapping and then killing people; While some are reported to be involved in human trafficking and slavery. “Right now, they’re fighting each other,” Aruzin said. “Are we still waiting before they start hurting our Filipino colleagues? We don’t want that to happen.”
The Chief of Police required POGO operators to hand over the permit to carry firearms to the PNP and provide them with updated information on foreign worker work permits.
As the Minister of Interior and Local Government, Benjamin “Benhour” C. Appalos, noted the importance of interagency cooperation and regular updating of the list of POGO’s legal foreign workers in the country to avoid problems related to human trafficking.
“The problem is that those who are no longer engaged in legitimate POGO operations can go anywhere,” Abalus said. “It’s important for us to track them down because these kidnappings give the POGO industry, as well as our country, a bad name.”
Abalus reports that DILG has already started a campaign against human trafficking. A total of 43 Chinese nationals who had been enslaved under human trafficking conditions were rescued in an operation in Angeles City on September 14. country.
Justice Department Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Ramola, who attended the interagency meeting, said their agency, in coordination with the National Bureau of Investigation and the Immigration Bureau, would cause the immediate and urgent deportation of the arrested illegal foreign workers responsible for the kidnapping wave. and related criminal activities.