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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Probe of Chinese presence sought in Multinational village

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Some residents of Multinational Village in Parañaque City have signed a formal appeal seeking a government-led probe into the continued presence of Chinese nationals and their efforts to purchase properties and establish businesses in the supposedly residential neighborhood.

Specifically, the petition that was signed by at least 52 homeowners is urging the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to look into the legitimacy of the Chinese mainlanders’ stay in the Philippines, and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe how some foreigners in the government’s watchlist ended up residing in their subdivision.

The group also called on the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Securities and Exchange Commission, Land Transportation Office and National Statistics Office to investigate how the Chinese nationals were able to construct apparently fraudulent personas that allowed them to acquire real properties, vehicles and even establish businesses despite Philippine laws’ limitations on such activities.

“All these can only be done with the intervention of top agencies. Up to what extent their connections may seem to be, we know very well and are aware of certain connections some local authorities may have with the Chinese nationals. We strongly request transparency on the investigation, and we are always at the disposal of anyone to aid and assist them in whatever way we can,” the homeowners’ petition stated.

The signatories from Multinational Village further said that they now live in constant fear for their security.

They recounted how their community’s woes began in 2019 when Chinese workers purportedly employed by non-specific Philippine Overseas Gaming Operators (POGOs) started moving in their village sometime in 2019.

“POGOS invaded our village by the thousands and the accompanying problems like garbage, sanitation, peace and order, illegal businesses, sex dens, drug dens, fraudulent credit card fabrication, illegal Covid clinics and hospitals; name it, we had it,” their statement further alleged.

Meanwhile, Janet Tayag-Ong, who furnished the Manila Standard with a copy of the homeowners’ petition, said the decision to allow the presence of Chinese nationals in the community is one of the major issues behind the infighting within the Multinational Village Homeowners’ Association today.

She, however, noted that the petition is not a homeowners’ association initiative but rather it is an effort by a large group of Multinational Village residents “acting out of a sense of volunteerism to ensure the safety and security of their individual households.”

Sen. Richard Gordon sparked an ongoing inquiry into the questionable presence of a large group of Chinese nationals in Multinational Village in March 2020. The investigation was overtaken by the Covid-19 pandemic and later halted at the end of the senator’s term of office two years later.

On the same note, Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, has called on the Bureau of Immigration (BI), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and the military and police intelligence community to probe the suspicious and aggressive influx of Chinese nationals in areas near all RP-US Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) sites and other major seaports and airports in the country.

He said the DFA and the BI are the lead agencies that should be held responsible and accountable for the continuing and suspicious arrival of said nationals in various parts of the country.

“Maybe we should just find out and for the BI to investigate as to how many Chinese nationals are actually arriving in our country, what is the nature of the travel documents they hold, and where in which part of our country they are deployed,” he said in Filipino.

He also asked if our DFA officials are doing due diligence in approving the visas of Chinese nationals who come to our country.

“Maybe we should also find out from them the status of the Chinese nationals they gave visas to, the number of those who came here and returned to China, and how many are still left here,” he added.

According to the Mindanaoan lawmaker, all concerned agencies, particularly the BI and the DFA, are aware that there exists a “Chinese mafia” that is engaged in the procurement and processing of fake documents. They include fake birth certificates coming from the Philippine Statistics Authority, fake passports emanating from the DFA, drivers license issued by the Land Transportation Authority, fake gun license coming from the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office, among others.

“The question is: What have these government agencies done to counter the tampering of their respective offices’ documents? They are all eerily quiet on this issue. Are some of the officials of said agencies in cahoots or enablers of the Chinese mafia?” Barbers asked.

Barbers said that based on initial information received by his office, the ‘fake Filipino nationals’ who can’t even utter a single Filipino word, use their Filipino enablers in the buying spree of huge tracts of lands near EDCA sites, near major air and sea ports, and establish large number of warehouses and other business establishments.

“One can see those warehouses sprouting like mushrooms in Central Luzon, particularly in Pampanga and Bulacan, Bataan, Zambales, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and nearby towns in the region. Now they are slowly but surely creeping in Cagayan near where the two EDCA sites are located,” he said.

Five Philippine military installations were designated in 2016 as EDCA sites, and they include Basa Air Base in Pampanga; Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija; Antonio Bautista Air Base in Palawan; Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu; and Lumbia Air Base in Cagayan de Oro.

The four latest additional EDCA sites, as announced by the US Defense Department, includes: Naval Base Camilo Osias in Sta. Ana, Cagayan, Camp Melchor Aquino in Gamu, Isabela; Balabac Islands in Palawan; and Lal-Lo Airport in Cagayan.

He said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has already denounced Chinese intrusion into Philippine territory and the bullying tactics of China in the West Philippine Sea. And yet, officials from the BI, the DFA, the military and police intelligence agencies, including the Philippine Coast Guard who hired Chinese nationals as auxiliary members, appear to be all “quiet and sleeping on their jobs.”

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