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EDITORIAL: Jail the enablers and conspirators

Deporting the Chinese nationals active in Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) posthaste is pure and simple whitewash intended to shield bigwigs suspected to be their enablers or conspirators. So far, the new administration particularly the Department of Justice has put itself voluntarily on the spot regarding this pivotal concern.

No one should ride on the growing disdain against POGO, by simply deporting the foreigners suspected of having a hand in the alarming rise of criminalities and in effect protecting their facilitators.

The practice of charging foreigners involved in domestic crimes and then deporting them while the cases against them are still pending has been in practice for decades with some characters within the Bureau of Immigrations taking a major role, presumably for a take.

The irregularity can be easily detected when some BI personnel even assist the suspected foreign criminals in order that they may be released from the ordinary detention centers only to be placed under the custody of immigration operatives. After that they are deported, scot free.

That is why the stand of Justice Secretary Crispin “Boying” Remulla that these foreign nationals engaged in the serious crimes of kidnapping in order that the families of the victims are forced to raise money for their release, should be deported hastily because the government has limited funds I to spend for their incarceration pending resolution of their cases is pure and simple hogwash.

In fact, there is that strong suspicion that deporting hurriedly these foreign criminal elements because their detention will only eat-up government funds is pure and simple ploy to protect locals involved in the perpetration of the crimes.

This is so because resolution of the circumstances surrounding occurrence of criminal activities involving most of those engaged in POGO will be relatively easy. An d conspiracy is easy to establish. Locals, particularly those holding sensitive government positions who may have a hand in the activities of the POGO can be pinpointed by the foreign nationals who should not have been in the first place granted permit, to operate here given the very embarrassing aftermath of their presence.

Whether we admit it or not the Philippines has become the laughing stock of the world. We have been projecting the image of a law-abiding citizenry who are not addicted to gambling. And yet here we are allowing foreigners to operate online gaming within our land, all for pittances that the government expects to generate from the operations.

And now that those in the corridors of power have already realized that the financial benefits derived from the POGO cannot compensate for the damages suffered by the nation, simply want to drive away the erring foreign nationals, as if nothing happened.

As a consequence, they want us to leave behind the injuries sustained by the nation and as they usually assert, we must move on. For a government serious indeed in ending all these shenanigans, an iron fist clear of dirt is needed to set in motion an order to send a clear message to all and sundry that indeed we say what we mean and mean what we say.

Otherwise all these pronouncements are just part of a circus or charade. Enough is enough. The Filipino nation deserves a better deal, if only to give flesh to the call for unity and revive national dignity.

Deporting outright foreigners suspected of being criminals does not stop or reduce criminality. It only lengthens further the list of unsolved crimes.


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