Dispatch from Crame No. 725: Sen Leila M. de Lima’s Statement on POGOs as a Threat to National Security and Stability


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The Bureau of Immigration “Pastillas Scandal” is just the latest in a long line of controversies surrounding Duterte’s pivot to China.

The list includes the then appointment of Chinese citizen Michael Yang as presidential economic adviser; the billions in dollars of questionable infrastructure agreements entered into with China in October 2016 under China’s Belt and Road Initiative; the grant of research access to Benham Rise; the proposed joint exploration deal in the West Philippine Sea; the broadcast of Chinese shows on government-owned television; the deliberate compromising of national security and state secrets with the installation of Chinese communication facilities inside AFP properties; the take-over of the strategic Fuga, Grande, and Chiquita islands by Chinese companies; the fishing agreement that surrendered our EEZ to China; the questionable award of critical projects, e.g. Kaliwa Dam, to state-owned Chinese companies with dubious records; etc., etc., etc.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we must repeat over and over again and remind our countrymen that our country is being turned into a Chinese province by the Duterte administration. This is not only a pivot to China, but the transformation of the Philippines into a Chinese satellite. We are being overwhelmed by this gigantic shift in our national policy which has been otherwise fully dedicated to fending off Chinese incursions in the West Philippine Sea and maintaining alliances to counter Chinese domination in the western Pacific rim.

The opening of the Philippines to Chinese POGOs signifies an aspect of this Duterte-sponsored Chinese invasion that erodes our moral, social, and cultural fabric. The POGOs of China’s triads are fast transforming our society into a cesspool of vice and criminality for Chinese citizens. This is undeniable from the exposés during the Hontiveros-led Senate inquiry on the prostitution and “Pastillas” rackets generated by the POGOs. This is not to mention the increase in kidnappings, drug-trafficking, gambling, and violence that accompany the POGO business.

The presence of POGOs has created a de facto state of national emergency in our country. The POGOs represent a national threat, both to our national security as a country and stability as a society. In so many ways, the Chinese triad POGOs represent a danger more alarming than marauding divisions of the People’s Liberation Army because rather than invade us from the outside, POGOs are corroding our social fabric from the inside, much like how the Chinese COVID-19 virus destroys its host from the inside.

As in the case of the Chinese COVID-19 virus, if not more so, we must, in all seriousness and determination, deal with the Chinese POGOs. The POGOs are the virus which will gradually, but definitely kill our communities.

It is about time we face this Chinese threat head-on. Before it is too late.

Today’s commemoration of the 1986 People Power revolt ought to stir us into heightened vigilance, and action, in defending once more our sovereignty as a democratic state and freedom-loving people. ###

(Access the handwritten version of Dispatch from Crame No. 725, here: https://issuu.com/senatorleilam.delima/docs/dispatch_no._725)

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