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Senate panel to hold hearing anew on alleged POGO-related prostitution


The Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality is set to hold another inquiry into the proliferation of alleged prostitution dens catering to Chinese nationals in the country.

Panel chair Senator Risa Hontiveros made the remark after NBI Deputy Director Vicente De Guzman III confirmed the illegal activity, which may be linked to the rise of Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGO).

"Diyan sa confirmation ng NBI din kaya kami magdadaos ng isa pang hearing," Hontiveros said in a Dobol B sa News TV interview aired on GMA News TV on Sunday.

Among the resource persons to be invited to the hearing are representatives from the Chinese Embassy and the alleged travel agencies which Hontiveros said abused the visa upon arrival privilege given to Chinese nationals.

"[Titignan natin] kung sino sa mga travel agencies na 'yan ang kumita para magpasok ng mga illegal POGO workers at trafficked and prostituted women," the senator said.

Apart from them, also to be invited to the hearing are representatives from the hotels and other accomplices involved in the illegal scheme.

"In the end, ang gusto kong magawa ng aming komite ay talaga kompletuhin 'yung drawing natin niyang trafficking and prostitution bilang isang negosyo, bilang isang industriya," Hontiveros said.

During the first hearing, Hontiveros revealed the existence of chat groups of Chinese nationals where vulgar photos of women were posted.

"May menu of services, parang restaurant. 'Yong mga babae parang ino-order lang sa app ng mga Chinese members ng mga grupong ito," she said.

Hontiveros also revealed the prices and transactions of the Chinese men. Based on one of the screenshots of the chat group, a one-hour sexual service is priced at P13,000; P16,000 for an hour and a half; and P30,000 for a whole night.

According to the investigation of the Makati Police, rooms of hotels are being rented weekly, or sometimes, even for a whole year.

Meanwhile, National Capital Region Police Office chief Police Major General Debold Sinas dismissed allegations that policemen are protecting prostitution dens allegedly operated by Chinese nationals.

“As the regional director, I can guarantee that the theory that there are personnel within our ranks who collude with Chinese prostitution syndicates is an unvalidated assumption," Sinas said, adding that Metro Manila cops continue to conduct several raids and operations against these syndicates. —Erwin Colcol/KG, GMA News

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