‘Intensify drive against sex dens, prostitution’

The Philippine National Police on Wednesday ordered its Women and Children Protection Center to intensify the campaign against prostitution following the rise of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators or POGOs in the country.

“PNP chief General Archie Francisco has ordered the Women and Children Protection Center under Brigadier. General Alessandro Abella to intensify further the campaign against prostitution in coordination with regional and local police units,” PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac told reporters.

He made his statement even as Quezon City Councilor Winston Castelo said he wanted a moratorium on the hiring of Chinese workers for the POGOs here.

Apart from opening the city to risks posed by the novel Coronavirus, the rising number of Chinese POGO workers was presenting a peace and order problem, he said.

He slammed the mounting complaints against the rude behavior of POGO employees from China since online gaming operations were allowed.

“It’s sad to note that these Chinese nationals are the subject of complaints from many of our constituents who had bad experiences with them,” he said.

Gamboa’s order came after Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the government would probe the emergence of Chinese prostitution dens in the country, which was supposedly linked to the operation of the POGOs.

Banac said in 2019, the WCPC raided sex dens linked to POGO workers, and that resulted in the rescue of 140 foreign victims and the arrest of 55 suspects.

In a Palace briefing Tuesday, Panelo said those who were responsible for the operations of the prostitution rings in the country would be held accountable.

The same day, the Senate committee on women, children, family relations and gender equality led by its chairman, Senator Risa Hontiveros, conducted the hearing on Chinese sex rings in the country.

During the Senate hearing, Hontiveros said Chinese workers in the POGOs were hiring Filipinas and foreign women for sex.

Screenshots from a group chat obtained by Hontiveros found that there had been “packages” offered to clients depending on the nationality of the sex worker and the length of service. 

The National Bureau of Investigation in October last year rescued 91 Chinese and four Filipino women from a karaoke bar in Makati City that served as a sex den for Chinese clients. 

Early this month, Duterte sought the imposition of restrictions to regulate the number of POGOs in the country, which was expected to reduce the increasing cases of corruption, extortion, and kidnapping linked to the operations of online gaming.

There are around 60 POGOs operating in the country, data from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. showed. With Rio N. Araja

Topics: Philippine National Police , Women and Children Protection Center , Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators
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