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Palace vows to go after groups involved in illegally recruiting Chinese workers in POGOs

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By Genalyn Kabiling 

The government is determined to run after groups allegedly involved in the illegal recruitment of Chinese workers in offshore gaming operations, Malacañang said Friday.

“Anything illegal we will run after them,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said in an interview with reporters at the sidelines of the 118th Police Service Anniversary in Camp Crame.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo
(OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)

Panelo said while Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) are legal in the country, the government will not tolerate the violation of the country’s law, including illegal recruitment of workers.

“Definitely, it can be illegal if they do not observe the protocols imposed by our government,” he said.

Panelo issued the latest statement after China urged the Philippines to punish local casinos and offshore gaming firms that illegally hire Chinese workers.

The embassy of China in Manila also expressed concern about the work conditions of some Chinese workers as a form of “modern slavery” as some nationals allegedly suffered extortion, abuse and torture

It claimed that the presence of overseas gambling hubs, which target Chinese citizens as customers, also resulted in the illegal transfer of Chinese money and increased social problems in the mainland.

Panelo, meantime, renewed his appeal to Chinese workers enduring abuse to file a complaint before the proper authorities.

“We urge this so called victims of whatever violations they feel they have been subjected to file complaints so that we will know how to respond. Because we will not allow any abuse committed by our countrymen against them,” he said.

The Palace earlier assured that the government will not tolerate the violation of the rights of foreign workers in the country. He said laws will be enforced to protect the rights of foreign workers here.

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