Published: Wed, August 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Philippines to Protest Chinese Ships Presence Amid Troubled Ties

Philippines to Protest Chinese Ships Presence Amid Troubled Ties

The Philippines' top diplomat confirmed that the Department of Foreign Affairs will be protesting the presence of Chinese survey ships in Philippine waters.

Locsin responded to a tweet by @zaldytor, who alleged that a Chinese triad, an organized crime syndicate, must be involved in this. "Our obligation to bring them to justice pronto", Locsin said on Twitter. Locsin also issued a broadside at the opposition saying: "Unless opposition wants to thanks Chinese triads". We go down this road of letting Chinese nationals be hurt, our people in China will pay. "That is worldwide practice".

This was after a local news site reported about the vessel, adding that it was loaded with passengers of Chinese nationality.

The response comes after the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines released a statement late last week expressing its concerns over the proposed transfer of Chinese workers to the self-contained hubs, located in Clark and Cavite, and warned against the illegal inducement of Chinese citizens to gamble either online or in Philippines land-based casinos.

Moreover, the Chinese embassy welcomed the statement of Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo that the presidential office has already ordered the Philippine National Police to look into the case and that the Philippines "will not allow nor tolerate any kind of abuse inflicted on any foreigner". "A large number of Chinese citizens have been illegally recruited and hired in the Philippine gambling industry".

The industry, known as the Philippine offshore gaming operators or POGOs, had been luring Chinese nationals to the country, even to the point of skirting local labor regulations to employ them since the system was introduced in 2016.

Mr. Panelo again urged foreign workers to report employers who violate Philippine laws.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue recently discovered an omission of P32 billion in unpaid income taxes from the gambling firms.

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