Lorenzana wants POGOs away from military facilities

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Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Friday backed proposals to put Chinese nationals working for Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) in a hub away from military camps and other vital installations.

“So I support the idea to put them in a hub na malayo sa mga kampo (which are away from camps). Doon lang sila (They will just stay there), para ma-control sila ng authorities saka ng (so their movement can be controlled by authorities and also by the) (Department of) Finance saka (and) (Bureau of) Immigration. Para (ma-monitor) kung sino ang pumapasok, sino ang lumalabas (So they can monitor who is entering and who is leaving),” Lorenzana added.

The defense chief said this move will allay fears of espionage.

“Personally I think there should be no need to worry. Pero kung nakikita mo na siguro na maraming tao dyan na palaging nandyan (But if you see that there are many people there), it’s very easy for these people to shift their activities to spying, kung meron mang mag-eespiya(if there is really spying taking place),” he said in an interview with reporters to Friday.

Lorenzana said business establishments near military facilities are ideal for housing these activities.

Oo, huwag sana (As for me, I don’t like). Pero ito rin ba kasi yung mga areas na nag-offer eh (But these are the areas where many businesses offer their spaces), like Araneta Center (in Cubao, Quezon City) malaking (they have a big) area, tapos (and then) Eastwood (also in Quezon City) and dun naman sa may (in) Villamor Airbase (Pasay City), yung (the) Resorts World. Yung Island Cove which is just within seeing distance of Cavite, (where we are) going to park our capital ships there in the near future,” he added.

As this developed, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Benjamin Madrigal, Jr., said that the military always has advocated that development and security should come together.

Also, he said that they are always looking into the possibility that these Chinese POGOs are being used for spying.

“Of course lahat ng ito tinitingnan natin ano, ang sabi nga (We are looking at all of these) without being paranoid, of course we can always, meron tayong (we have) hi-low na sinasabi na ganyan yung (which we mention about) possibilities, most probable, of course most dangerous, and lahat ito binibigay naman natin (these are all given),” Madrigal said during an interview with reporters Friday. PNA