Tell it to SunStar
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Tell it to SunStar: Are these foreigners employed in Internet Gaming Licensees?

By Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian

We are calling for an inquiry into the growing presence of foreign nationals in upscale gated subdivisions suspected to be working for Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators, now called Internet Gaming Licensees.

This is something worthy of attention. We need to ensure that any significant gathering of foreign nationals is not for the purpose of engaging in illegal activities given the trend of rising criminality attributed to these individuals involved in the industry.

I want to specifically address ongoing concerns raised by homeowners in Multinational Village in Paranaque City over the growing number of foreign nationals now residing in their subdivision. Residents claim that an enclave within the subdivision featuring Chinese restaurants and spa salons caters exclusively to the said foreign nationals.

Nakakabahala na maaaring mga pugante na galing sa ibang bansa ang mga nakatira sa mga subdivision na ito. Alam nila kung paano gumalaw at kung sino ang kakausapin dahil pinag-aaralan ng mga sindikatong ito ang galawan dito. Malakas ang loob nila dahil meron silang mga koneksyon at nakakakuha sila ng proteksyon mula sa mga matataas na opisyal sa bansa.

The November 2023 raid conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation at a residence in Ayala Alabang Village, which led to the arrest of 11 Chinese nationals for allegedly conducting illegal online gambling activities, is also concerning. The raid also led to the confiscation of an unlicensed .45-caliber pistol with a magazine and six rounds, a 9mm pistol with a magazine holding seven rounds, a switchblade knife and gambling paraphernalia.

I have been advocating for the termination of Pogo operations in the country. The social costs of allowing them to continue operations in the country far outweigh any economic gains derived from the industry.

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