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Palace asks police to hasten Chinese death investigation

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THE PRESIDENTIAL palace on Sunday urged the police to hasten its investigation into the death of a handcuffed Chinese national who fell from the sixth floor of a building in Las Piñas City.

Law enforcers were also tracing down the supervisor of the victim, presidential spokesman Salvador S. Panelo said in a statement.

“The palace is concerned with growing reports that foreign workers in the country are being subjected to coercion, illegal detention and other violations of law even by their own countrymen while in the Philippines,” he said.

“We need to put a stop to these illegal acts,” Mr. Panelo said, adding that the government would not tolerate abuse of any foreigner either by their fellow nationals or by Filipinos.

The Chinese Embassy in Manila earlier asked the government to punish casinos and Philippine offshore gaming operations that illegally hire Chinese workers, blaming them for aiding crimes such as money-laundering.

The embassy in a statement last week blamed unnamed Chinese companies and Filipinos for offshore gambling that targets those in mainland China, and for the illegal work being undertaken by thousands of Chinese citizens here.




The embassy said offshore gaming operations in the Philippines have led to crimes and social problems in China. It said China would take action to prevent cross-border gambling.

Mr. Panelo again urged foreign workers to report employers who violate Philippine laws. “No one is exempted from the strict enforcement of our laws,” he said.

The palace earlier said Chinese nationals who suffered abuse while working here should file complaints before local authorities.

The two countries are jointly cracking down on crimes against Chinese workers in Manila, Philippine Ambassador Chito Sta. Romana has said.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s pivot to China has led to friendlier relations and encouraged more Chinese tourists to visit the Philippines and Chinese workers to work here.

Last week, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said it continues efforts to increase tax collections. It collected an initial P186 million in withholding taxes from Philippine offshore gaming operators and expects P170 million in taxes from companies employing foreign nationals. — Arjay L. Balinbin

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