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PH safe for foreign investors-PNP

September 20, 2022 - Tuesday 5:09 PM by GDM

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The Philippine National Police (PNP) assured foreigners that the Philippines remains 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 POGO and their illegal activities assure the seriousness of the law and that kidnapping is not tolerated in the country.

He said the PNP would sustain the aggressive operations through dedicated vigilance and unyielding commitment to serve and protect the people.

"With the crackdown, we are doing with undocumented, overstaying, expired visa or working permits of POGO workers, it will soon give our country a better business climate since part of the requirement for foreign workers are clearances that they are not wanted or facing any criminal charges in their country, and that they will be required to obtain National Police Clearances and NBI clearances," Azurin told reporters when sought for a comment.

The country's top cop also quickly stated 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 had been arresting several Chinese nationals who had been involved with rampant and blatant kidnappings of fellow citizens. 

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

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

"The PNP is also grateful for the responsiveness of the 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, some of whom have been reported to be active participants in some kidnapping and illegal detention complaints," Azurin said.

To further bolster the police'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 Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor).

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

"This is why the PNP is suggesting that we want Pagcor to furnish us with the list of approved POGO operators so that our crackdown and search will be easier. We also coordinate with all law enforcement agencies, the BI, NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) as well as with our regional forces. We also asked the 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," Azurin said. 

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