By Wilnard Bacelonia

Senator Risa Hontiveros (File photo)

MANILA – Senate Deputy Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros on Friday said her panel is determined to look into the possible information leak during the recent raid of a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) hub in Porac, Pampanga.

Hontiveros made the assurance after the “unfortunate” news reached her office that an undetermined number of Chinese nationals were able to flee before the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) was able to reach the POGO site.

“We will get into the bottom of who is accountable,” she said in a statement.

Sinumang nakikipagsabwatan sa mga sindikatong Chinese ay mananagot (Anyone colluding with Chinese syndicates will be held accountable). Our Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality will ensure that victim-survivors of abuse and exploitation will get the justice they deserve.”

PAOCC spokesperson Dr. Winston Casio earlier said the raid on Wednesday led to the arrest of “only” 158 Chinese, Vietnamese, and Malaysian nationals, whereas they expected to arrest more than 1,000.

He said information on the operation “may have been leaked.”

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said he suspects that Chinese syndicates may already have people within the country’s court systems.

The Supreme Court, for its part, has assured that it would investigate allegations that some individuals behind POGO hubs might have an influence on the judiciary.

Hontiveros, meanwhile, commended the efforts of the PAOCC against illegal POGOs.

Dahil sa mga raid, nailalantad ang mga paulit-ulit at karumal-dumal na krimen na dala ng POGO, tulad ng scamming, torture, at human trafficking na natagpuan dito sa (Due to the raids, the heinous crimes carried out by POGO are exposed, such as the scamming, torture, and human trafficking, which were discovered in) Pampanga,” Hontiveros said.

She said her office is “still receiving reports” of POGOs engaging in illegal activities, but remains hopeful that all of these would be raided by PAOCC, and all perpetrators will be arrested. (PNA)