Gatchalian: Probe, suspend Porac mayor For ‘most brutal, most violent, largest POGO hub’

Inside one of the buildings at the Lucky South 99 POGO hub. Contributed photo

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – “Pinaka-brutal, pinaka-bayolente, pinakamalaking POGO hub.”

Thus, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian dubbed the Lucky South 99 Outsourcing Inc. site in Porac town after an ocular inspection on June 24, even if he entered only three of the firm’s 46 buildings, and called for a probe and suspension of Porac Mayor Jaime Capil.

 

The immensity of the place and the discovery of illicit activities and crimes committed in the area during the raid early this month by the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission made the senator puzzled as to how the local government of Porac could even claim “cluelessness” over its operations. 

“Unang tanong ko paano nakalusot sa LGU at barangay. Ang mayor may malawak na kapangyarihan,” Gatchalian said during a post-ocular press conference.

Capil has continuously claimed in statements and during the two hearings the sangguniang panlalawigan conducted at the Capitol on June 14 and 21 that the LGU was prevented entry to the premises when it made an attempt to inspect the site following the non-issuance of a business permit to Lucky South 99 in January 2024. 

“Hindi puwedeng alisin ng LGU ang kanilang accountability lalo na sa ganitong scheme dahl 2,000 dayuhan ang pumapasok at lumalabas sa lugar, dapat nagdududa ka na,” Gatchalian said, noting that mayors hold enough powers to inspect businesses in their area.

The senator went on to suggest that Capil should be investigated, and even suspended from office, due to his alleged “negligence” in performance of his duties as mayor.

“Dapat ma-suspend siya. We have to bring it to the Ombudsman and ako ang recommendation ko tingnan na rin ang accountability ng mayor sa Porac dahil nakikita natin merong negligence dahil pinabayaan niyang mangyari ito sa kanyang lugar. Kung naging proactive siya dapat hindi na umabot sa ganito kalaki,” said Gatchalian.

He also questioned how the Lucky South 99 POGO hub, along the one in Bamban, Tarlac was able to be built from 2019 to 2022 when construction of buildings and infrastructure had been prohibited due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Itong POGO hub tsaka ‘yung sa Bamban, kahit na panahon ng pandemic, kino-construct nila. Ibig sabihin, may taong nagko-construct doon. Isa pang red flag ‘yan. Natatandaan natin 2020 walang construction na nangyayari nang isang taon. Kung ikaw ay local government at nakita mo may nagpapatayo ‘don, red flag na agad. Bakit nakakapagpatayo sila ng pasilidad na bawal ang construction?” Gatchalian asked.

He also said he would call for a Senate investigation of the Porac POGO hub, noting: “Gusto kong malaman ang accountability ng LGU, Pagcor, at kung sino ang nasa likod nito.”

Gatchalian renewed his call to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to ban all POGOs. “The mere design ng facility, sinadya ito for scamming, nakita niyo na ang disenyo para sa crypto scam, love scam, at iba pang scam. Kaya panawagan sa pangulo na i-ban na.” Punto News Team/Media reports 

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