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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Chinese army uniforms found in Porac POGO site

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Authorities uncovered military uniforms that reportedly bore designs and accessories associated with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the armed organization of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), from the recently raided Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) site in Porac, Pampanga.

These findings have raised serious concerns about the nature of operations at the facility, prompting the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) to investigate if there were Chinese military personnel posing as POGO employees in the country.

The raid, which took place last week, was initially sparked by allegations of human trafficking within the 10-hectare establishment. But a report aired on GMA News, said the seized camouflage clothing had buttons with the initials ‘P.L.A.,’ which authorities suspect is the same Chinese military unit.

The search yielded more than just military uniforms. Authorities rescued 158 foreign nationals, predominantly Chinese, who were believed to be victims of human trafficking.

The raid also uncovered various equipment allegedly used in scamming activities and other criminal enterprises, including sex trafficking, torture, and kidnapping.

Porac Mayor Jaime Capil has strongly denied any involvement with or protection of the illicit POGO operations. He emphasized that illegal activities are not tolerated in their town during his tenure.  

Capil pointed out that the buildings in question existed before he took office and that he does not own the land where the POGO hub is located. He also refuted insinuations that the local government under his watch was turning a blind eye to the firm’s violations.

The mayor explained that Lucky South 99 had obtained the necessary building permits and that POGO, as a business model, is legitimate as far as he was concerned when they approved its operations.

“POGO per se is a legitimate business. That’s a legitimate business and that was what we approved. If we did not approve, we could be sued before the Ombudsman with several cases,” Capil was quoted saying by GMA News.

In 2020, former Senator Richard Gordon claimed that PLA soldiers have infiltrated POGO companies in the Philippines for intelligence gathering and other activities.

His suspicions were later on validated when two card-carrying PLA members attached to the industry were arrested in a shooting incident in Manila, according to a report published by Asia Times.


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