Over 100 foreign and local workers rescued from POGOs in Rizal and Pampanga

Thanks to the collective efforts of local law enforcers, more than one hundred foreign and local workers from two Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) establishments in the provinces of Pampanga and Rizal, according to GMA Network’s news reports. Human trafficking and physical abuses are notable elements in the reports.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the GMA news report about the Rizal rescue. Some parts in boldface…

Authorities rescued over 100 allegedly abused foreign and Filipino Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) workers in Cainta, Rizal, John Consulta reported on 24 Oras Weekend.

The Bureau of Immigration and National Bureau of Investigation conducted an operation on Saturday to rescue workers who were allegedly tortured and held against their will by fellow foreigners.

The victims claimed they were not being paid, while one of the workers alleged that he was kidnapped and forced to work for the POGO. Others were promised free board, lodging, and a high salary for working 22 hours a day.

But even if they were forced to work long hours without being paid, the workers were still allegedly physically punished if they were caught sleeping on the job. Wounds were seen on a worker’s back.

Suspect Lee Mengqiang, a Chinese national, denied harming the POGO workers.

Meanwhile, the NBI also discovered that the POGO’s permit had expired but continued to operate.

Now here is the related news video about the above news story. Watch the video and pay close attention…

About the POGO and rescue of workers in Pampanga, posted below is an excerpt from the GMA Network report. Some parts in boldface…

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Saturday said it shut down a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) establishment in Pampanga and rescued at least 43 foreign nationals from allegedly human trafficking.

Following a series of raids, DILG secretary Benhur Abalos and officials of the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group permanently closed the Lucky 99 Outsourcing Inc. offices, located at Fil-Am Friendship Hi-Way in Angeles City, Pampanga.

Abalos said the raids resulted in the rescue of the foreign nationals who were brought to the establishment.

The DILG secretary said the police would continue to apprehend individuals involved in similar illegal activities as part of the intensified crackdown on POGOs involved in human trafficking.

“With the help of PAGCOR and the SEC, we will be able to identify who are the individuals behind this illegality,” he said in a statement.

Abalos said the DILG also sought assistance from the Bureau of Immigration to check the visas of the rescued foreign nationals.

“We will make sure that all victims will be accorded due process as the Immigration [Bureau] checks their documents and visas properly to avoid being victimized again,” he said.

The DILG Secretary also encouraged the public to report such illegal activities in their respective areas.

“We are nearing the end of the pandemic and the only way to put a stop to this is by working together,” he added.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about these new developments? Are you now concerned that POGOs operating in your city could be secretly committing crimes such as kidnapping, physical abuse and human trafficking? Do you think that the POGOs in your city are somehow adding to new incidents of kidnapping, prostitution, gun smuggling, torture and other criminal activities? Do you believe that the government should permanently shut down POGOs that are involved in criminal activities?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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