Despite ongoing disputes over the South China Sea, China and the Philippines are exploring the possibility of working together to combat illegal gambling. In a statement on the Chinese Embassy's website in Manila, China expressed its readiness to closely collaborate with the Philippines to address the issue of offshore gambling within the country. This move could potentially foster better relations between the two nations.
China has already taken steps to assist Manila in shutting down illegal gambling operations and successfully repatriating approximately 400 Chinese citizens involved in illicit gambling. The Chinese government has played an active role in addressing this issue, signaling a willingness to work with Filipino authorities.
Furthermore, Chinese representatives are urging the Filipino government to implement stricter measures to effectively crack down on Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs). This initiative has gained support from lawmakers and law enforcement agencies across the Philippines, reflecting a shared interest in tackling illegal gambling activities.
What's particularly noteworthy is the effective collaboration between Chinese and Filipino law enforcement agencies in recent years. This cooperation has played a pivotal role in reducing a range of illicit cross-border activities, including illegal gambling, telecommunications scams, and online fraud. The visible success of such joint efforts has likely contributed to the willingness to collaborate further.
It's important to note that China has consistently opposed any form of unsanctioned gambling by its citizens, irrespective of the location. The Philippines had previously resisted China's pressure to crack down on gambling, but the recent message from the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines suggests a potential shift in this stance.
The Philippines has faced significant challenges related to illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs). When the country increased taxes on the industry, many licensed operators moved underground, leading to a surge in criminal activity, including human trafficking and organized crime. As a result, calls have emerged to eliminate POGOs entirely, with several cities already banning them.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) is now reinforcing its position that it's time to end the POGO industry. POGO-related crimes have become more severe, including an increase in homicides, kidnappings, extortion, and other criminal activities. This situation has led to greater support for the elimination of POGOs, with key lawmakers advocating for this move.
The potential collaboration between China and the Philippines to combat illegal gambling reflects a shared interest in addressing this issue, despite ongoing disputes in other areas. It demonstrates a willingness to work together to tackle a common challenge and foster improved relations.
By fLEXI tEAM