Philippines National Bureau of Investigation is abrest with unceasing reports of POGOs that no longer have permits to operate or their permits have been revoked by PAGCOR, leading to increased strain on the ongoing crackdown and repatriation efforts of some 3,000 Chinese nationals. 

As of September 14, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has canceled the permits of 175 POGOs, which employ about 40,000 Chinese nationals.

Mico Clavano, DOJ, PAGCOR, POGO
Mico Clavano

Mico Clavano IV, Department of Justice (DOJ) assistant spokesperson, during Monday’s public briefing, said that the National Bureau of Investigation is probing unceasing reports that some POGOs have no permits to operate or their permits have been revoked. 

Clavano said while the DOJ processes the identification papers of the overstaying Chinese nationals, they are allowed to stay in their hotels but at their own expense or until they can afford it.

The DOJ said that an initial batch of 300 overstaying Chinese nationals caught in Pampanga may be repatriated back to China by the first week of October.

By mid-October, an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 more would be repatriated, Clavano said.

Authorities continue to closely monitor social media postings of videos involving possible crimes occurring in the community of Philippine Overseas Gaming Operators (POGOs).

The Department of Justice is concerned that lawless behavior may eventually spill to victimize Filipinos,  said the agency assistant spokesperson Mico Clavano IV, during Monday’s public briefing,

“What is alarming are videos and pictures circulating on social media about murder, kidnapping and prostitution in POGOs. Those are what the DOJ finds out,” Clavano said.

The reports prompted DOJ Secretary Jesus Remulla to arrange a meeting with Chinese officials last week.

The priority is to make sure our Filipino citizens are secure in their lives, and it mustn’t reach a point that even Filipinos become victims,” Clavano said.

“Our relationship also with China, we have to take care of, so we’re working together, we’re coordinating with the Chinese government to ensure that these Chinese nationals are being cared for),” the Philippines News Agency reported.