‘Chinese desks’ not enough to curb crime surge – De Lima

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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has expressed alarm over the growing trend of crimes involving Chinese nationals in the country which could worsen if authorities fail to step up their campaign against Chinese offenders.

De Lima said the Philippine National Police (PNP) under the leadership of new PNP Chief Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa should intensify its crackdown against Chinese criminals by running after possible presence of Chinese syndicates in the country.

Kung hindi magiging maigting ang pagbabantay at pagsugpo sa mga krimen na kinasasangkutan ng mga Chinese nationals dito sa atin, tiyak na dadami pa ito at lalong lalakas ang loob ng mga sindikato na maghasik ng lagim sa bansa,” she said.

Huwag sanang maliitin ang isyung ito ng ating mga awtoridad. Hindi makatarungan na sinasakop at inaangkin na nga ng Tsina ang ating mga teritoryo, patuloy pang inaagrabyado at binibiktima ng mga kriminal at sindikatong Tsino ang mga Pilipino,” she added.

In 2019 alone, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) recorded the arrest of 421 criminal-foreigners, which included 324 Chinese nationals. In the same year, the Bureau also recorded the arrest of 2,257 erring foreigners, 1,577 of whom were Chinese.

In January to November 2019, meanwhile, the PNP-Anti Kidnapping Group (AKG) recorded six Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO)-related kidnappings, wherein thirty suspects, mostly Chinese nationals, have been arrested.

De Lima noted that Chinese nationals in the Philippines have been involved in various criminal activities ranging from kidnapping for ransom, extortion, rape, torture, illegal drugs, prostitution, tax evasion and large-scale investment scam, and violation of immigration laws among other fraudulent schemes, in the past six months.

The recent reports of crime surge involving Chinese offenders include, among others, the arrest of five Chinese men in Makati City last Jan. 2 for allegedly kidnapping and torturing a POGO employee.

Given these alarming records and reports, the lady Senator from Bicol maintained that the PNP should go beyond establishing a “Chinese desk” to curb the rising crime committed by Chinese nationals in the Philippines.

“Our authorities cannot just designate a ‘Chinese desk’ to receive complaints. They need to have concrete action plans on how to go after the members of big-time Chinese syndicates here,” she said.

Gamboa has announced his plan to establish Chinese desks in which technical working groups from both the Philippine and Chinese governments would be created supposedly to stop the rising trend of crimes involving Chinese nationals in the country.

Last year, De Lima urged the government to order the stop of operations of online gambling or POGO firms in the Philippines that have given rise to several crimes and other illegal activities by Chinese nationals, but it was unacted upon.

In the previous 17th Congress, De Lima also filed Senate Resolution No. 751 to investigate the surge of Chinese workers in the Philippines, notably in the POGO industry. (30)  

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