Some residents of Multinational Village in Parañaque City fear possible "military" activities inside their subdivision, where a firing range has been set up amid the growing number of Chinese nationals in the neighborhood.
"Imagine, a firing range inside a village. Alam namin wala ring building permit because it is in an open space," a resident said in a video presented by Senator Richard Gordon during a Senate hearing on Thursday.
"Nagtataka kami. Is this connected to the influx of Chinese mainlanders? Sabi nila baka mga ano ito, mga military. May mga ganoong hinala, may mga ganoong takot ang mga homeowner," another homeowner in the video added.
The residents said they were not consulted prior to the construction of the firing range, which is located near the village's recreational area.
"Sinasabi lang nila na kaya sila naglagay niyan, to teach gun enthusiasts to be responsible gun owners. But the point is, baril yan eh. So, it has no place in a quiet subdivision," one of them said.
According to Gordon, the residents themselves made and sent the video to the Senate in desperation for the matter to be addressed.
In the video, the homeowners said that their quality of life has "deteriorated" with the entry of hundreds of POGO workers—with several vans and buses bringing in the Chinese workers; cables exploding and causing power outages as the maximum load is reached; tenements being built with higher storeys than is allowed in the village; and piles of garbage left out in the streets.
The video also said that residents witnessed a raid in which they saw naked men and women leaping from an upper floor of one of the houses. "Siguro ginawa nganng sex den that particular house," a resident in the video said.
On Tuesday, another video presented by the senator showed hundreds of Chinese nationals being dropped off by vans and buses in groups at different houses inside the said subdivision.
The residents also worry over the possible transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
"Pugad ng mga POGO na nga kami ngayon. Kami 'yung nimber 1 na at threat na magkaroon ng contamination," one of the residents said.
"Since hindi naman nako-control mismo ng homeowners' association, ilan ba sa mainlanders na 'yan ang nanggaling sa Wuhan?"
Gordon said that the millions of dollars in cold cash that entered the country could possibly be linked to various illegal activities hounding the POGO industry.
During his privilege speech on Tuesday, he underscored that knowing the whereabouts of the POGO workers is important.
"It's a creeping invasion... I'm not being Sinophobic. I'm just trying to express some concern on why there is no seeming regulation and effort to locate these people. If they have firearms, aba delikado 'yan, if they're bringing in money hinahanap ba natin 'yung pera kung saan dinala?" Gordon said. — BM, GMA News