a fortnightly publication of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines
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Inquiry into criminal character of POGOs turns to wrong direction

Instead of digging deeper into the real nature, origins and criminal operations of the so-called POGOs (Philippine Online Gambling Operations), the inquiry initiated by the Philippine Senate has turned into the wrong direction. 

The inquiry began when a mayor (local executive) of Bamban town in the province of Tarlac, in central Philippines, Alice Guo, was made to explain her involvement in the criminal activities of a POGO operating right behind the municipal hall building.

Gambling in China has been outlawed since 1949. On the other hand, POGOs were allowed by the reactionary Philippine government supposedly to generate funds, but were instead found to have been engaged in illegal and criminal activities including human trafficking, hacking, prostitution, and scams such as, among others, “fake shipping, fake online charity, fake shopping websites, fake online sellers, fake free trials, fake Christmas gift cards, fake tech support, fake crypto investment, fake relative/friend, dating, foreign exchange investment, and loans”.

The Senate-initiated hearings on the case of Bamban mayor Guo has failed to dig deeper into the criminal nature and operations of POGOs, and their symbiotic relationship with corrupt local and national politicians and the police who have benefited from their criminal operations, and have not moved forward to banning them from the Philippines.

These hearings have in fact been denounced by many Filipino citizens, particularly the Filipino-Chinese community, who have described the inquiry into the nationality of and other personal matters on the Bamban mayor as nothing but a spectacle to fan “Sinophobia” or racism against the Chinese people and culture.

The stoking of anti-China sentiments is also happening amidst the tensions developing in the West Philippine Seas instigated by the US in its warmongering tactics against China. Netizens pointed to the hearings as stoking fear of so-called Chinese spies, while totally hypocritical of the fact that the Marcos regime allowed the presence of US and other foreign troops and entities in the Philippines.

“We are afraid of Chinese surveillance, yet pay no mind to the US Embassy, a ‘listening post’ of the US National Security Agency (NSA) equipped to intercept and collect private information from phone calls and text messages,” stressed the League of Filipino Students (LFS), a militant national student organization.