Chinese prostitution fronts' shenanigans bared; Pogo suspension eyed
MANILA, Philippines — Sexual services are being offered like food in restaurant menus in Chinese prostitution dens often disguised as massage or spa facilities, Sen. Risa Hontiveros said Tuesday.
Hontiveros, who heads the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality, was leading the hearing on Chinese prostitution dens in the country when she made the remark.
During the hearing, Hontiveros showed chat groups of Chinese men where lewd photos of several women are posted.
“May menu of services, parang restaurant. ‘Yung mga babae, parang in-o-order lang sa app ng mga Chinese members ng chatgroup. May menu, may presyo, then darating na lang sa hotel o condo mo,” she said.
(There is a menu of services as if it is a restaurant. It seems the women are merely being ordered in the app by Chinese members of the chat group. There is a menu and a price, and then the women will just arrive at your hotel or condominium unit.)
For instance, a sexual service is priced at P13,000 for one hour, P16,000 for an hour and a half, and P30,000 for the whole night based on a chat group presented at the hearing.
In another chat group, a woman, seemingly new to the prostitution den, was even described as a “new car” to customers.
During the hearing, a 15-year-old victim of a sex den in Makati City testified that she was hired by a certain Jane in the guise that she will work as a massage therapist.
But she later found out that the work was actually “massage with extra services.”
She revealed her boss was a Chinese man who has a Filipina wife.
She was paid at least P6,000 “per job,” an amount that increases if she was asked to spend the night or perform sexual services.
She disclosed that most of the den’s clients are Chinese, but there are also some Japanese, Korean and American nationals.
One of her co-workers from the prostitution den, she said, contracted a sexually-transmitted disease but was still being offered to customers.
Suspend Pogo ops?
In light of these revelations, Hontiveros urged the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police to launch a crackdown on prostitution dens maintained by Chinese nationals or groups and patronized mostly by Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (Pogo) workers.
She said she is also studying the possible suspension of all Pogo operations in the county while reviewing the economic implications of the move.
“Kailangan na nating umaksyon (We need to act now). We need to look into suspending Pogo operations because they attract criminals into our country,” Hontiveros said.