Fri. Feb 26th, 2021

MANILA — The Chinese Embassy in Manila described as “isolated incidents” illegal and criminal cases involving its nationals in the Philippines.

In a statement, the embassy said the Chinese government attaches “great importance to combatting all kinds of illegal and criminal activities” and has been in close cooperation with relevant agencies in the country.

“The Chinese Embassy has always been committed to safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens in the Philippines and has been providing consular service and protection for them to the best of its ability. The Embassy is willing to continue to strengthen communication and cooperation with the Philippine side in this regard,” the statement read.

The statement came in the wake of reports that Chinese nationals are allegedly associated with money laundering, prostitution, kidnapping, and even bribing of Philippine authorities in the country.

It said it opposes “any irresponsible remarks based on fake news and condemns any groundless allegations against China out of ulterior political motives”.

Citing the cases as isolated, the embassy said these should not represent the whole picture of China-Philippines relations.

“The China-Philippines relations have maintained a good momentum of development, which serves the fundamental interests of the two peoples,” it said.

Last year, the Philippine National Police has reported a number of kidnapping cases involving Chinese victims and kidnappers due to the influx of Chinese working for Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO).

In a privilege speech Tuesday, Senator Richard Gordon also raised issues on money laundering related to POGO, saying at least USD470 million was brought in by 47 individuals, mostly Chinese nationals, from September 2019 to February 2020 without being flagged.

He warned that money laundering is a “threat to national security” because it can be used to fund organized crimes, destabilize governments and erode the integrity of the nation’s financial institutions. (ia/PNA)

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