Jinggoy worried rich POGO backers might 'control politics' in PH

Senator Jose ‘’Jinggoy’’ Ejercito Estrada fears that rich nationals in the multi-billion-peso Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) industry ’’might or they can control the politics here in our country.’’

‘’Kayang kaya nila sa laki ng kinikita nila yan (They can do this because of the huge profits they rake in), Estrada said in a DWIZ radio interview Saturday, Oct. 8.

‘’Ang nakakatakot dyan kasi pagdating ng eleksyon baka pwede na sila magkontrol ng pulitiko natin (I fear for our country because they might control our politicians). Sa dami ng kanilang pera (With their tons of money), they might or they can control politics here in our country,’’ he explained.

Estrada admitted that he was surprised to learn that there are many policemen who serve as security escorts of Chinese nationals.

Queried on how much these Chinese nationals pay Philippine policemen, Estrada said he does not want to comment about it but wondered what was the basis for the Chinese nationals to be given Filipino policemen as escorts.

‘’Ang mga Pinoy ba sa China may security? Palagay ko wala (Arę Filipinos given Chinese security personnel when they are in China? I don’t think so),’’ the said.

So, does the Philippine National Police (PNP) give priority to Chinese nationals?

‘’Yun ngang kapag lumalakad ang chinese sa kalsada natin kala mo presidente ang dumarating sa dami ng escort (That’s it. Why do these Chinese nationals walk on the streets like they are presidents who are surrounded by many escorts),’’ he said.

’The PNP must look into it at irecall ang lahat ng nakadetaiil sa chinse nationals dahil wala silang karapatan magkaron ng pnp escort unless otherwise nagrequest sila at qualified sila (The PNP must look into it and recall all of those detailed with the Chinese nationals because they do not have the right to be given escorts unless otherwise they made a request and that they are qualified),’’ he added.

‘’Itong POGO I don’t think they are qualified (This POGO, I don’t think they are qualified),’’ he emphasized.

Asked if POGO operations should continue in the country, Estrada said he is sticking to his earlier pronouncements that those identified as ‘’illegals’’ must be taken out of operations because they are not paying taxes.

As chairman of the Senate Labor Committee, Estrada said only those deemed legitimate should continue but there should be an acceptable number of Filipino workers.

He said there should be 70 to 80 percent Filipino workers at POGOs.

He said that it was his campaign promise for Filipinos to be able to get employed by POGO operations because they were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.