AFP Addresses Concerns Over Chinese Military Uniforms Found in Another POGO Raid

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Tuesday addressed public concerns regarding the discovery of Chinese military uniforms at a raided Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) hub in Porac, Pampanga. AFP spokesperson Colonel Francel Padilla suggested that the uniforms were likely used as props in illegal activities, such as online scams, commonly associated with POGO operations.

Pogo Raid

“The presence of Chinese military uniforms may likely be used as props in these illicit online transactions,” Padilla explained. She emphasized that the limited number of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) uniforms found indicates their use for deceptive activities rather than any preparation for an invasion. One of the seized digital camouflage uniforms bore buttons with the initials “P.L.A.”, which authorities suspect stands for the People’s Liberation Army, the principal military force of the People’s Republic of China.

The Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) has initiated an investigation to determine whether any Chinese military personnel are in the country posing as POGO employees. Despite these findings, Padilla assured the public that there was no cause for unnecessary panic. “Rest assured, the AFP is committed to protecting the people and securing the state. We are fully cooperating with PAOCC’s ongoing investigation to clarify this matter,” she added.

Additionally, the AFP is investigating the possibility that the uniforms were used by POGO operations purely as props. Navy Spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea, Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad, mentioned an increase in monitored unusual incidents involving Chinese nationals. However, he cautioned against jumping to conclusions about national security risks, noting that most observed activities are violations of common crimes.

The raid on the POGO hub in Porac last week revealed several torture and kidnapping victims, with authorities rescuing multiple individuals, including a woman tortured and sold online for sexual services. The hub, situated on a 10-hectare compound with over 40 buildings, also housed an alleged torture room and evidence of “love scam” operations. The investigation into these illegal activities is ongoing.

Pogo Raid

In light of these events, the police chief of Porac, Pampanga, was relieved from his post amid the investigation into the alleged “scam farm” inside the POGO hub. Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Police Colonel Jean Fajardo stated that the PNP would examine how the Porac police force failed to detect the illegal operations of the POGO hub.

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