PH safe for foreign investors: PNP chief

Photo by Jon Manosca / Pexels

The Philippine National Police on Tuesday assured foreigners that the Philippines remain a safe investment destination as it continues to resolve kidnapping cases involving Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).

PNP Chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr., said that their moves against POGOs and their illegal activities are an indication of the PNP’s seriousness in taking against lawlessness, including – and most particularly – kidnapping.

Azurin said the PNP will sustain aggressive operations through dedicated vigilance and an unyielding commitment to serve and protect the people.

“The PNP’s crackdown on undocumented, overstaying, expired visa or working permits of POGO workers will give our country a better business climate since part of the requirement for foreign workers are clearances to ensure that they are not wanted or facing any criminal charges in their country; they are required to obtain National Police Clearance and NBI clearance for them to operate here,” Azurin told reporters when sought for a comment.

The country’s top cop emphasized that there is no lawlessness in the country and criminals can’t just do their activities with impunity.

“In the same manner, POGO and other foreign nationals working here must have a monitoring mechanism to ensure that they are not violating our laws with impunity,” he added.

The PNP has been arresting several Chinese nationals involved in kidnappings of their own fellow nationals.

Azurin said the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group has solved nine of 17 POGO-related kidnapping cases reported since January this year.

Of this figure, one case has been marked as cleared while seven other cases remain under investigation.

“The PNP is grateful for the responsiveness of our senators to PNP proposals that will establish an efficient system of monitoring and identification of alien workers in the POGO industry as well as the exercise of visitorial powers by PNP Units to inspect and account for security personnel and systems employed in POGO firms, particular those reported to be active participants in kidnapping and illegal detention complaints,” Azurin said.

To further boost the PNP’s investigative capacity in POGO-related incidents, Azurin said the police force is seeking to forge a better understanding with concerned government agencies such as the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor).

Azurin said such cooperation is in line with operational plans to conduct on-the-spot records verification of foreigners and enforcement of applicable laws and local ordinances that regulate business operations.

“This is why the PNP is suggesting that we be furnished by Pagcor with the list of approved POGO operators so that our crackdown and search operations will be made easier,” Azurin said.

“We also coordinate with all law enforcement agencies – the BI, National Bureau of Investigation as well as our PNP regional forces. We’re also asking communities to give us information for us to be able to easily flush out those who are illegally staying and those who commit crimes here. We cannot let them destroy our President’s vision of having a safe and robust economy,”‘ he added.


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