By Macon Araneta
FilAm Star Correspondent
The unabated influx of illegal foreign workers into the Philippines is hampering the efforts of law enforcement agencies to rein in crimes committed by foreigners as seen in recent incidents in the past consecutive weeks, said Sen. Joel Villanueva.
The raid on an alleged prostitution den by the Makati City Police past midnight recently, the latest bust on criminal activities perpetrated by foreigners, is a clear manifestation of how certain individuals are taking advantage of cracks in the government’s system, pointed out Villanueva, who chairs the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development.
He noted that these loopholes in immigration laws — which they sought to remedy after they were discovered this in the previous Congress — are sadly the government’s own doing.
“We have relentlessly warned about how our system could be abused if we do not seal the cracks,” Villanueva said in a statement.
Unfortunately, he said they see very little, if at all, changes in the policies and practices of the Bureau of Immigration in regulating the entry of illegal aliens in the country, especially those who have questionable backgrounds and those who, in the guise of entering as tourists, intend to work in the Philippines.
“One question that lingers on our minds is how did the perpetrators manage to enter the country?” the Senator remarked.
On Monday night, police rescued at least 35 Chinese women at a hotel in Makati City where the victims were purportedly being prostituted to Chinese men working at offices belonging to the Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGO) sector. Transactions are reportedly done on-line.
Six days earlier on October 1, agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) swooped on Skytop International Club along Yakal Street, Barangay San Antonio after receiving reports it was a front for a prostitution den. At least 91 Chinese women were rescued, while four Chinese nationals and four Filipinos were arrested, the NBI said.
The bust in Makati is the fourth incident involving Chinese nationals in a span of four weeks.
On September 16, operatives of the Parañaque city police busted a prostitution den purportedly operated by Chinese nationals who exploited their compatriots. The establishment allegedly catered only to Chinese nationals, according to the police report, which also detailed rescuing at least 50 Chinese women.
Immigration agents acted on a tip from the Chinese embassy in Manila that a financial scam involving crypto-currency which defrauded thousands in mainland China was being facilitated at an office in Pasig City on September11. Authorities arrested nearly 300 Chinese nationals whose passports were revoked by their government.
“We reiterate our call to the government to become more resolute in addressing our problem with illegal foreign workers. It’s bringing us crimes that have no place in our society,” Villanueva said. “We are wasting our resources to track and prosecute these individuals because of the reckless disregard of some agencies in addressing the root cause of the problem of illegal foreign workers.”