Dispatch from Crame No. 733: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Statement on Duterte’s Defense of POGOs


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Duterte’s response to the growing public clamor against POGOs has made it clear that he does not have the best interest of the Filipino people at heart.

The Senate has been doing a commendable job in exposing the evils of the POGOs. Sen. Joel Villanueva has shown how the labor sector has been flooded by foreigners from mainland China who are working in POGOs without proper permits. Sen. Risa Hontiveros has exposed a human trafficking ring and corrupt immigration practices catering to POGO employees. Sen. Richard Gordon is currently investigating the obscene amount of cash being smuggled into our country by POGO operators. Sen. Panfilo Lacson, for his part, reported on the information he received that some 3,000 Chinese Army personnel are here in the country under the cover of POGO operations.

Our country is feeling the negative and deleterious effects of POGO. Many of our countrymen are priced out of their homes by Chinese workers. Our women and children fall prey to prostitution and human trafficking. Crime rates have been continuously rising, notably those committed by Chinese nationals against Filipinos and against each other.

These POGOs do not pay proper taxes. They do not employ Filipinos. They violate our borders, disrupt our communities, commit crimes in our cities, and expect our people to clean up the mess that they created. The supposed ₱8 billion annual franchise tax is a paltry sum compared to the social costs that they generate. That amount is not even enough to pay for the government services availed of by these hostile Chinese nationals, in terms of immigration and police support.

No one is fooled by Malacañang claims that the income from POGO will be used for COVID-19. Mr. Duterte does not even understand what is going on in our country. He made that clear when he rambled incoherently (once again) in his own press conference. He was supposed to assure us that everything is being done to manage the COVID pandemic but ended up causing greater national anxiety by betraying his own incompetence. That person is not the man a Filipino can trust especially in times of crisis.

In spite of his billions of pesos in confidential and intelligence funds, Duterte has once again shamed the Office of the President by declaring POGOs clean and free of crime under his “oath of office as President of the Republic” without any semblance of credibility, nary any effort to ascertain the truth.

Bakit, Ginoong Duterte? Inaasahan mo ba na popondohan ka at mga kaalyado mo nitong mga POGO sa susunod na eleksyon? Magkano ba ang binabayad sayo ng mga POGO na ito para ipagkanulo mo ang sarili mong bansa? May hawak ba silang impormasyon laban sayo kaya hindi mo maipatupad ang nararapat para sa kapakanan ng ating mga kababayan? Bakit hindi mo mapahinto ang POGO na siyang sumisira sa ating bansa?

End this scourge! Stop POGO in the Philippines!

(Access the handwritten version of Dispatch from Crame No. 733, here: https://issuu.com/senatorleilam.delima/docs/dispatch_733)

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