Senator Calls for Tougher Action on POGOs as Kidnappings Continue

Allegations for crimes related to the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) once again reignited the debate on whether or not the government can act accordingly and enforce the law. Such crimes have increased recently, which caused a Philippine Senator to ask the government for an official position about the future of POGOs.

Senator Grace Poe held a privilege speech in front of the Senate, asking them to establish a firm position when it comes to POGOs, a report released by the Manila Bulletin reveals. She explained that despite the efforts of PAGCOR, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp, the Philippine National Police and the Association of POGO, POGO-related crimes continue.

Senator Poe added that POGOs have taken one vice, such as gambling, and turned it into crimes such as human trafficking, kidnapping and battering. Asking the Senate once again, Senator Poe said that the government needs to decide whether or not it can handle POGOs. She urged the Senate to enforce the laws and ensure that POGO-related crimes stop once and for all.

Allow me to reiterate my call: Let’s face the music and decide once and for all if our institutions are still stronger than POGO and can rein in the risk to peace and order, and possible long-term damage to the rule of law while these POGO-related crimes continue.

Philippine Senator Grace Poe

The Senator told the story about an incident, allegedly related to POGOS, involving one of her friends. The sister in-law of one her friends was recently abducted, in what is believed to be a POGO-related crime, Senator Poe said. The victim was kidnapped when she responded to an advertisement of a job as an assistant. When the victim decided to meet what she believed was the future employer, she was kidnapped, Senator Poe explained. Besides kidnapping her, the attackers also physically abused the victim, the Senator said.

I hope we act immediately, let’s not wait for ourselves or our families to experience this.

Philippine Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva

Joel Villanueva, the Majority Leader of the Philippine Senate, showed support for Senator Poe’s call. He urged for immediate action, saying that the government shouldn’t wait for more families to be impacted by POGO-related crimes. Villanueva asked that police and law enforcement should continue to investigate POGO-related crimes and “be on high alert.”

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