A few weeks ago, I called Parañaque City a hot spot for criminal incidents involving foreigners from China. As far as South Metro Manila is concerned, Parañaque registered 140 crime incidents involving Chinese nationals versus 54 in Las Piñas City and 19 in Muntinlupa City as per the findings of Southern Police District (SPD).
Think about it. There were 213 crime incidents involving Chinese nationals in South Metro Manila and Parañaque (the city of BF Homes subdivision, Manila Memorial Park and those lavish casinos and hotels by the bay) got almost two-thirds of that.
The trend of such crime continues to happen in the said city as confirmed by the January 20, 2020 news report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The report was about a police raid on a sex den inside a budget hotel that resulted the apprehension of a Chinese national who allegedly managed the place and the rescue of several Chinese women who allegedly were forced into prostitution.
Below are notable excerpts from the report.
Excerpt 1: The alleged manager of the sex den, Cai Ye Gui, also from China, was arrested. He now faces charges for violation of the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012.
Excerpt 2: A tip from one of the victims’ clients led to the rescue of 11 Chinese women allegedly forced into prostitution inside one of the branches of a budget hotel chain in Parañaque City on Sunday.
Excerpt 3: The victims claimed they were promised jobs in the country, but ended up being forced into prostitution.
Excerpt 4: Similar to other sex dens raided by authorities, the business catered exclusively to Chinese nationals, especially to men working in Philippine offshore gaming operator (Pogo) companies and their service providers. Bookings could be made through the WeChat app or in person.
So the prostitution joint was handled by a male Chinese national to cater to foreigners from China and their workers were ladies also from China who were promised jobs in the Philippines only to end up working as prostitutes against their will.
As for the app called WeChat, that is the most popular messaging app in China (according to CNBC) owned by Tencent (full corporate name Tencent Holdings Limited) which is a Chinese multinational conglomerate.
Based on the details of the Inquirer report, it seems that WeChat is used for communication and business for the raided sex den. This brings me to an excerpt from CNBC’s article…
Excerpt 1: One of the primary uses of WeChat is messaging. Just like WhatsApp, you have a list of conversations that you’re engaged in.
You can add people in a variety of ways.
When people exchange contact details in China, you often see one person scanning the other person’s phone. Each WeChat user has a unique barcode known as a QR code. One person can scan the other user’s QR code to add them to WeChat. You can also use a phone number or ID to add a person and search for people nearby.
WeChat is one of the main ways people communicate in China. Even when doing business, people prefer WeChat to email. It’s even more prevalent because services like Facebook are blocked here.
And here is a look at the commercial side of WeChat.
Excerpt 2: If you’re buying something online in China, there will be an option to purchase with WeChat Pay. You will need to put in a passcode or use a biometric authentication tool to authorize the transaction.
Instant money transfers to your WeChat contacts can also be made via the messaging function, which makes it easy to split bills or just move money around China. It is possible to be nearly cashless in China and actually go out for the day without a wallet.
If WeChat was actually used for payments (in addition to booking) for services at the sex den by Chinese users who are physically present here in the Philippine, how were they able to make it work locally? WeChat’s financial transaction feature was supposed to work only in China.
To say the least, the app made bookings convenient for Chinese nationals before visiting the illegal joint in Parañaque City. The name of the budget hotel (which had the sex den inside) was not revealed in the Inquirer report but it was described to be located near the corner of Quirino Avenue and NAIA Road.
As for the legal aspect of the latest Parañaque sex den raid involving Chinese nationals, the law enforcers and lawyers will have to figure out how to effectively apply the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012 on the suspects and other violators.
If found guilty, the suspects will be penalized for twenty years imprisonment and a fine of P1 million to 2P million for the act of trafficking, 15 years imprisonment and a fine of P500,000 to P1 million for attempted trafficking, and life imprisonment and a fine of P2 million to P5 million for qualified trafficking.
This latest crime makes Parañaque look bad and it is a fact that there are lots of Chinese nationals living and working in the said city.
Also let me add here the December 23, 2019 the city sisterhood agreement between Parañaque and the Chinese city of Anshan. On face value, the agreement looks like a pretty and promising way of the two cities becoming closer together. According to a Manila Standard report, the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Parañaque and Anshan should “create opportunities for mutual growth, since both cities share similar environmental protection and tourism endeavors.”
There were other objectives that include “providing for better cooperation in conducting reciprocally planned and sanctioned programs geared towards the improvement of government administration, tourism, cultural preservation, environmental protection, education, technology, arts, and the holding of various endeavors mutually beneficial to both parties.”
What needs examining here is how many tourists from Anshan (a city of more than 3 million people) will come to Parañaque for tourism, how many of those same tourists will be setting up businesses locally, how many of them will take residence in the city, and are they all willing to follow the local and nationals laws at all.
What guarantee is there that Anshan tourists will not commit any crimes in Parañaque or anywhere else in the Philippines?
If there is anything that will prevent a city or a nation from prospering and becoming more competitive with others, it is crime. Other factors that will do the same include corruption, sinister propaganda, misuse of taxpayers’ money, sub-par public service and lack of financial discipline.
It is a sad truth that Parañaque is not too competitive with other Philippine cities and was not heralded for local governance. Now the city has a crime wave involving foreigners from China.
For those of you reading this who have genuine love for the country, start praying to the Lord that the crime wave will not harm Filipino families living inside the villages. Start reading the Holy Bible and apply its lessons on your life by heart.