Kidnap cases alarm Chinoy biz groups

Filipino-Chinese businessmen in the country are calling on the government to intensify its operations against kidnap for ransom groups after receiving reports of the abduction of Chinese nationals and Filipinos of Chinese descent who were later killed for their internal organs.

In his attendance during the Senate’s public hearing on the reported increase in kidnapping incidents and other crimes, Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. president Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong said they are alarmed over the alleged abductions of mostly Philippine Overseas Gaming Operator personnel.

“We have likewise seen videos circulating in social media and messaging applications purporting to show abductions and torture of Chinese nationals. There were also reports of people, including children, who were kidnapped and killed for their organs,” he told Senate Public Order and Dangerous Drugs Committee chair, Senator Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa.

“After receiving those reports, we have conducted consultations with different groups of the Filipino Chinese community and relevant stakeholders, including our local government units and law enforcement officers, to verify the veracity of these reports. We could not confirm whether these reports are true,” he added.

To avert this, he said Filipino Chinese community groups and the FFCCCII have proactively set up a hotline, where members of the community can request assistance or report any incidents of crimes they witness.

With this, he said they are also requesting all the members of the community not to spread unverified news or share unverified posts via social media and messaging applications, as unverified information may cause unnecessary panic and harm the international image of the Philippines as a tourism and investment destination.

“We request our government to continue to improve the peace and order situation in our country to attract more tourists and foreign investments. We want our economy to continue its growth and counteract the negative effects of the global pandemic and the war between Russia and Ukraine,” according to the business group leader.

Rule of law

Further, he said his group espouses the upholding of the rule of law and strengthening of the criminal justice system in the country “so that criminals are kept off the streets, violence is nonexistent, and the economy is given the chance to flourish.”

He stressed that the FFCCCII and its members are always ready to assist the government and other stakeholders to maintain peace and order, to prevent crimes, for the sake of Philippine economic and social progress.

De la Rosa on Friday expressed support to the proposal to ban POGO operations amid the recent spate of kidnappings, abductions, and other crimes.

In a television interview, De la Rosa said he is considering banning the industry due to its link to the rising number of kidnappings in the country.

“That is one of the possible solutions because if we will base it on the taxes we could get from POGO operations as compared to the social cost that has brought to our community — the social cost must be heavier due to the crimes linked to it,” he said.

“That [proposal] is being studied by my committee on what would be our recommendation,” he added.

On Thursday, De la Rosa’s panel conducted a hearing on the two separate resolutions to probe the recent cases of kidnappings, abductions, and other crimes in the country.

Senator Grace Poe, one of the two senators who filed the resolutions, expressed her intent to determine whether the country should continue allowing POGO operations in the country, citing its link with illegal activities.

Poe said she will find out whether the social cost brought by the POGO operations outweigh its economic benefits.

In a separate hearing on the same day, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno expressed his support to ban the POGO operations, citing the social cost of the industry in the country.

Police operation

Meanwhile, another police operation against foreigners involved in POGO-related kidnapping and other criminal activities resulted in the arrest of a Chinese national and a Filipina while allegedly conducting casing and surveillance of possible kidnap victims inside Clark Freeport Zone in Mabalacat City, Pampanga on Thursday.

Arrested was Xiong Gang, 35, and his Filipina companion Nete Joy Gallenero Juanico, 28, who both yielded a 9mm Daewoo pistol with a silencer with a fully-loaded magazine, a black airsoft pistol and a pair of handcuffs when arrested by operatives of the CIDG Field Unit Angeles and Mabalacat City Police Station.

In a report of the PNP CIDG, Acting Director Police Brigadier General Ronald Lee said Gang and Juanico were onboard a Metallic Blue Toyota sedan with plate number DCA 8843 when intercepted by Clark Development Corporation Police led by Field Commander Arvin Bernardo while acting suspiciously in front of Clark Hills Village at 1:30 a.m. on Thursday.

When requested to lower the car windows, security personnel saw in plain view a pistol grip beside the driver’s seat. The CDC Police held the vehicle and called the CIDG Field Unit Angeles and Mabalacat City Police Station.

A further search resulted in the discovery of the confiscated items and subsequent arrest of the suspects.


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