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Robredo laments gov't inaction on POGO disregard of Philippine laws


Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday deplored government apathy over "glaring"  violations by Chinese-run Philippine offshore gaming operators of Philippine laws.

In her weekly radio show, Robredo said that amid calls to put an end to the “dubious” activities of POGOs, the government has done nothing.

“Napaka-glaring na ng kasamaan, ng korapsyon na involved, wala pa ring nangyayari… Hindi ko alam kung ano pang hihintayin natin bago tayo umaksyon,” she said in her weekly radio show.

Several senators have sounded the alarm over POGO-related crimes, including the controversial “pastillas” bribery scheme that allows Chinese nationals to waltz through the Philippines’ immigration process for a 10,000-peso fee.

The Anti-Money Laundering Council has also said that P14 billion worth of POGO-related transactions are “suspicious.”

But Malacañang said Sunday that President Rodrigo Duterte has no plans to stop or suspend POGO operations because he is satisfied with the revenue the government is getting,  totally ignoring the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s 2019 report showing that only 10 out of 60 POGOs pay taxes.

Robredo said corrupt government agencies such as the Bureau of Immigration are also to blame for the proliferation of POGO-related crimes.

“Oras na nagbayad ka, oras na sumuhol, dapat deport na kaagad. Ano ba iyong hinihintay? Oras na nag-commit ng crime dito, dapat deport na iyon kaagad. Ano pang hinihintay? Kasi ang dami nang cost sa atin,” she said.

“Lahat na [ng] dahilan para ipatigil na iyan, nandiyan. Hindi sapat iyong income na nakukuha natin sa nawawala sa atin. Kaya iyong sa akin lang, sana aksyunan na sa lalong madaling panahon.” —Julia Mari Ornedo/LBG, GMA News