‘Abused’ Chinese workers are free to file cases: Panelo

Malacañang on Thursday, August 8, said that if Chinese workers in the Philippines feel that they are suffering from abusive working conditions, they are free to file complaints before local authorities.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo made this remark in a Palace press briefing following allegations that Chinese employees who are in casinos and Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) work in an abusive environment.

“My suggestion to them is to file a formal complaint so that this particular concern will be raised in the appropriate agencies of the government and so that we can properly respond,” Secretary Panelo said.

“We will not allow any violations of their rights as visitors or working nationals of this country,” Panelo added.

The Palace official said the government will not be able to do anything about these allegations if there are no complaints.

“That’s why we’re telling them now, institute a complaint against these employers that are violating your rights because this government will not allow any abuses committed against them,” he added.

For the President’s chief legal counsel, the Philippine Constitution should guide authorities in dealing with this kind of cases.

“We certainly have the Constitution to guide government authorities in dealing with them. We will not allow any abuse on any foreign visitor or worker in this country from our own countrymen. We have laws, we have always to enforce the law,” Panelo stressed.

In the meantime, Sec. Panelo said that while there is still no formal communication from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) regarding its move to isolate certain Chinese, this should be further evaluated.

“If the issue is only rudeness, we have laws. If the rudeness falls within violations of the Revised Penal Code, then you can prosecute them,” he said.

“If you’ll restrict their liberties then there might be a violation. Because if your only reason is rudeness, you can always subject them to a violation of Revised Penal Code,” Panelo added. PCO