THE National Bureau of Investigation raided a sex den masquerading as a videoke bar in Makati City last Monday and rescued 95 women believed to be engaged in prostitution.
The sheer number of rescued women isn’t the only reason why this raid was different from previous ones. The others: 91 of them are Chinese nationals, the prostitution ring was run by a Chinese businessman and it catered only to wealthy Chinese men working in the Philippine offshore gaming operations.
A Philippine Daily Inquirer story said that it was also the third prostitution joint run by and catering to overseas Chinese in the Philippines that was raided by the NBI in Metro Manila in less than a month.
Recall that the NBI also raided a Pogo establishment in Lapu-Lapu City not long ago and arrested the employees on suspicion that they were operating illegally. The workers were however released after their employer presented a permit from Pagcor, the Philippine gaming agency.
No Chinese woman was rescued in that raid but that does not necessarily mean that they’re not here. I spoke to a local chief executive a month ago and he confirmed the presence of “entertainment” women here. However, because access to the entertainment clubs is strict and limited, it is difficult for authorities to monitor, much less, raid them.
The women don’t come cheap; hiring rate ranges from P20,000 to P30,000, according to the Inquirer report on the Makati raid. The Filipino women (there were four of them in the raided prostitution den) carried only a P15,000 price tag.
Hundreds of thousands of Chinese nationals are believed to have descended unto the country and overstayed since the relations between China and the Philippines improved under President Duterte. This has raised complaints that the Chinese are taking jobs away from the locals. Obviously, we won’t be hearing a similar complaint about the presence of the foreign women-for-hire.
Speaking of stealing jobs from Filipinos, I was amused by the reaction of the foreigners suiting up for local schools to the proposal to ban them from the Philippine collegiate leagues. One said the ban will result in the deterioration of the quality of basketball in the country while another had the gall to label the move as racist.
First of all, college basketball was doing just fine before college owners and coaches went for a quick fix to improve their chances of winning. It was fun to watch even without the imports and that was all that mattered then.
As to the claim that basketball will be weak without them, the truth is that their presence does not really make a difference. We were champions in Southeast Asia long before the first African played for a Philippine college team. At the same time, we haven’t had a decent crack at a world championship since time immemorial and that will remain so even if we let the imports “train” our locals.
I know why they are upset over the proposed ban. They’re being handsomely paid for their services. They do not want the money to go to a native.