PNP chief confirms ‘unreported killings’ in raided Pogo hubs

MANILA. Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Rommel Marbil.
MANILA. Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Rommel Marbil.Photo from PNP

THERE were alleged unreported killings in the raided illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogo) hubs in Bamban, Tarlac and Porac, Pampanga, said Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Rommel Marbil on Monday, June 24, 2024.

In a press conference in Camp Crame, Marbil said one of the factors considered for the relief of the entire Bamban, Tarlac Municipal Police Station, as well as the chief of police of Porac, Pampanga, and the Pampanga provincial police director were the alleged “unfounded bodies” of foreign nationals in the “scam farms.”

“Bakit natin ni-relieve ‘yung provincial director doon and chief of police kasi may mga killings doon na hindi naimbestigahan mabuti. Hindi kasi siya normal eh. Sa ibang bagay bakit may mga foreigners na may namamatay na doon and dapat from thereon dapat inimbestigahan nila…Dapat inaalam nila,” he said.

(Why did we relieve the provincial director there and the chief of police because there were killings there that were not properly investigated. It’s not normal. In another matter, why are there foreigners who are dying there, and they should have investigated from thereon... They should have investigated it.)

“Then sa Bamban naman, why do we need to relieve all these people again? Ganun rin, may mga unfounded bodies (There were also unfounded bodies),” he added.

But Marbil clarified that they do not consider the relieved police officials as “protector” of Pogos.

“I guess, ang hinahabol natin inefficiency sa mga pulis natin bakit hindi naiimbestigahan at hindi narereport doon sa headquarters ‘yung mga ganitong pangyayari,” he added.

(I guess, what we are after is the inefficiency of our police, why are these incidents not investigated and reported to the headquarters?)

Marbil said they are also looking into the possible accountability of the Central Luzon Regional Police Director Brigadier General Jose Hidalgo Jr.

Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Director Major General Leo Francisco said they have already seen a connection between the raided Pogos in Bamban and Porac and they are looking into it further for the filing of appropriate charges against those behind it.

In March, the CIDG, together with the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC), raided the Zun Yuan Technology Incorporated (ZYTI), which is situated near the Bamban Municipal Hall.

The raid was conducted after a Vietnamese worker escaped from the facility and reported to the police.

It resulted in the rescue of 800 employees, including around 500 foreigners, of which 427 were Chinese nationals.

The chief of police of Bamban was relieved of command responsibility following the raid.

ZYTI is currently being investigated in the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality over its links to various illegal activities such as human trafficking, surveillance activities and hacking of government websites.

On June 5, the PAOCC and CIDG raided Lucky South 99 in Porac, resulting in the apprehension of at least 186 foreign and Filipino workers.

At least four individuals were identified as kidnap victims. Two of them were still handcuffed and full of bruises and torture marks when found by the police.

The firm was tagged as the biggest business facility in Pampanga, with a total of 46 buildings, including villas and other structures, as well as a golf course. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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