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Did Philippine police find China’s PLA uniforms in Pogo raid?

The Philippine military has sought to assuage fears over national security after alleged Chinese army uniforms were recovered from an online gaming hub, saying they were probably used as props as senators reiterated their demands to close the sector for good.

Police last week raided a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (Pogo) compound in Porac, Pampanga province and rescued more than 150 foreigners, mostly Chinese.

But a Philippine military colonel rejected those concerns.

“The limited number of PLA [People’s Liberation Army] uniforms found suggests they are more indicative of use in deceptive activities rather than any preparation for an invasion,” Colonel Francel Padilla said on Tuesday.

Padilla added the perpetrators may have deployed the attires as props to carry out their illicit dealings that included kidnapping and love scams inside the building in Porac.

The city’s police chief was sacked for failing to detect the illegal business.

The Presidential Anti-Organised Crime Commission, which conducted the raid, said the agency would investigate if there were Chinese military personnel in the Philippines posing as Pogo workers.

Porac Mayor Jaime Capil denied claims the firm operated with his blessings, saying “we don’t tolerate illegal activities in our town”, GMA News reported.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said the uniforms showed Pogos could attract “external forces” who want to destabilise government organisations and underscored the need for outlawing the crime-plagued industry.

“Pogos have now evolved into a breeding ground for crime and a national security threat,” Hontiveros said.

Gatchalian and a group of legislators have filed bills in the senate and the House of Representatives seeking to banish Pogos from the country.