Sen. Ronald dela Rosa raised alarm over the use of high-caliber guns and grenades by Chinese syndicates involved in POGO-related crimes, which have reached over a 100 cases to date since 2017, with the majority of the suspects Chinese nationals.
During yesterday’s resumption of the POGO hearing, Dela Rosa, chairperson of the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, said these are no longer ordinary organized criminals.
“Basing on the firearms – imagine some had Kimber, and that is the most expensive handgun that I have bought. Another had a CZ 75 which is really for shooting,” said the senator, who is also a former chief of the Philippine National Police.
“These syndicates are awash in cash. Their guns are very expensive. How were they able to buy these guns without any record at the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office? Did they smuggle these high-caliber firearms?” Dela Rosa said.
Former Pasay City Police Chief Col. Byron Tabernilla testified they arrested three Chinese nationals tagged in the December 2022 abduction and kidnap for ransom of a Malaysian woman.
Tabernilla then showed the photos of the arrested Chinese nationals – Yun Gao and Jia He Zhang – and a photo of the firearms seized in the operation.
PNP Director for Investigation and Detective Management Maj. Gen. Eliseo Cruz told the Senate panel that his office would direct the Pasay police to request a macro etching procedure for the recovered firearms to determine if the serial numbers of the handguns were tampered with.
Sen. JV Ejercito, for his part, said this is one of the bad effects of the visa upon arrival for POGO workers.
“It is alarming because these syndicates appear to be using the POGO avenue. Their modus now is kidnapping and other crime-related [incidents],” Ejercito said.
Cruz said of the 102 POGO-related crimes recorded since 2017, at least 30 were kidnapping for ransom cases and 10 were kidnapping with serious illegal detention.
Of the 892 suspects, 782 of them were Chinese nationals, one was Vietnamese, 80 were Filipinos, five were Malaysians, one was Korean, two were Thai nationals, two were Indonesians, and 19 are still undetermined.