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Nograles chides BCDA over POGO hubs near military camps

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Party-list Rep. Jericho “Koko” Nograles (Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta) has called the attention of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) for allowing offshore gaming hubs to operate near vital installations and major military camps, raising concern on national security.

In an interview with CNN Philippines, Nograles said the ballooning number of POGO hubs that employ many Chinese workers near military facilities is a serious matter, calling the attention of BCDA for supposedly allowing them operate inside high-risk strategic areas.

“Why are these POGOs located near these strategic areas? It all boils down to our BCDA and that’s exactly what happened here,” said Nograles.

BCDA is currently under the leadership of Vince Dizon. Dizon is a known confidante of House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and previously served as his chief political officer when the latter was still a senator.

Among the vital installations near POGO hubs include Camp Aguinaldo, Camp Crame, Fort Bonifacio, and Villamor Airbase.

Nograles has voiced concerns over the reported sightings of “military-looking” Chinese nationals in various POGO hubs including those located in vital installations.

Nograles warned that alleged presence of Chinese military personnel in several POGO hubs can compromise the country’s national security especially that many of those were built near vital installations such as airports and military camps.

He especially mentioned the POGO hubs built along West McKinley and McKinley Hill in Taguig City which are just few kilometers away from the General Headquarters of the Philippine Army and Philippine Marines.

Nograles said POGO hubs “should stay away from sensitive areas like AFP and security-risk areas.”

“It just so happens that these POGOs which are generally Chinese have been developing around areas which are sensitive to our national defense and it must be talked about, it must be part of the debate on whether or not we should allow continued development,” Nograles stressed.

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