THE Philippine military is looking at the security risks of Chinese-dominated online gaming operations in the capital, where gambling centers are very near military installations, Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana told The Chiefs segment on Cignal’s One News Channel.
“We are still verifying that,” the Defense chief said when asked if Philippine Online Gaming Operations or POGOs present security risks.
“Having a POGO per se is not a threat to our security,” Mr. Lorenzana said, even as he noted that there is a potential for these “to be used by unscrupulous people to attack or to even listen to what we are saying — to spy on us.”
There is a POGO center at Eastwood City and another at Araneta Center near Camp Aguinaldo, the Armed Forces headquarters in Quezon City, Mr. Lorenzana said.
Resorts World, a joint venture between Alliance Global Group and Genting Hong Kong, is occupying part of a former military camp and is near Villamor Airbase, home of the Philippine Air Force.
Senator Leila de Lima last month warned against the planned setup of a 32-hectare complex called Pogo Island in Kawit, Cavite, which she claimed could be the start of a creeping Chinese colonization.
There were earlier reports that a wealthy Chinese-Filipino businessman had bought the former Island Cove resort from the Remulla clan in Cavite and turned it into a complex for Chinese POGO workers.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte has sought closer trade and investment ties with Beijing since he assumed power in 2016 as part of his pivot away from the US.
Philippine police in April said it would probe claims that China could use Huawei for spying. Authorities later found no evidence of that. The US has increased pressure on its allies to sever ties with the telecommunication company.