Cops barred from securing POGO personnel

Senator Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa on Friday asked the Philippine National Police to stop assigning its personnel to secure officers and personnel of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators.

De la Rosa issued the call, citing the need to insulate members of the PNP from the criminal activities of mostly illegal POGO workers like kidnapping and homicide.

“In able (sic) to clean your organization, tell them to stop deploying security to these POGO to end this issue,” De la Rosa told PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin during a committee budget hearing.

Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos saw merit in de la Rosa’s point and immediately ordered the filing of charges against any PNP personnel who would be found moonlighting as POGO security officers.

It may be recalled that in one viral video, a number of Filipinos believed to be either security officers or cops were seen participating in a shooting and stabbing incident pitting Chinese nationals against one another.

“Get all their names and of course, sanctions is what we will give — disciplinary ones. Let’s stop this practice. Send them all a message,” Abalos told Azurin as he assured senators they will take immediate action.

Sonny Angara, the chairperson of the Finance Committee, also proposed the monitoring of private security details hired by said foreign companies.

Azurin told Angara’s committee that the PNP has 2,541 Police Security and Protection Group personnel, with about 2,000 yet to be deployed.

“We only provide security based on the threat level assessed by our policemen,” Azurin said.

Legally operating POGOs pay taxes and help contribute to the economy while employing workers with the necessary permits.

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