By Jennifer P. Rendon
The Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) on Tuesday confirmed the possibility of other cybersex dens operating in the metropolis.
Colonel Joeresty Coronica, Iloilo City police chief, did not go into detail about how many groups they were looking into.
“There are indications that they are also operated by foreign nationals,” he said.
The city police chief said that they are even looking at unauthorized Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators or POGOs in the area.
POGOs are online gambling firms that operate in the Philippines but cater to customers outside the country.
Coronica made the statement after the arrest of 17 Chinese nationals for alleged cybersex den and cyber fraud operations early morning of Nov. 4 in Jaro, Iloilo City.
The suspects were already charged with violation of Section 4 (C) (1) and Section 4 (B) (2) of Republic Act No. 10175 (The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012).
The group was represented by a Cebu-based legal counsel, Benitez said.
Recovered from the scene were several units of computers, mobile phones, routers, and SIM cards.
Coronica said that 11 of the 17 suspects have no valid passports.
“We don’t discount possible human trafficking in this case. They could also be victims. They could have been made to work under duress,” he said.
Through the PNP Directorate for Intelligence, Coronica said they would inquire with the Bureau of Immigration on the presence of foreigners in Iloilo City.
He also appealed to the public, especially those living in subdivisions, to watch out for foreigners who rent out big houses.
“They usually come in groups and live under one roof,” he said.
On Tuesday, Undersecretary Alexander Ramos, executive director of the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC), visited the ICPO after visiting the area where the 17 Chinese nationals were arrested.
The CICC has assured ICPO of its help in curbing cybercrime incidents in the metropolis.