The Daily Manila Shimbun


800 undocumented Chinese escaped before raid in Pampanga casino: Aguirre  

January 23, 2017

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said on Monday around 800 undocumented Chinese national were able to escape even before they conducted a raid last November 24 at the Fontana Leisure Park and Casino in Pampanga.

During the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on Jack Lam bribery case, Aguirre said:”I think there were about 800 who escaped. The coffee shops, McDonald's, hotels in Clark Development were full of Chinese (nationals)."

On November 24, authorities raided Jack Lam's online gaming operations at the Fontana located at Clark Freeport and arrested 1,316 of his Chinese employees that believed to be tourist and working illegally.

He said he received reports those workers were able to escape the resort since authorities were not able to control the situation during the raid.

"In the first place, the situation during the first hours of raid was not under control that's why many (workers) managed to escape," he said.

Aguirre said 800 was only his calculation since he was expecting 3,000 to 4,000 people will be arrested.

Aguirre said he was able to receive an anonymous letter last September 2016 reporting illegal activities at Fontana.

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente confirmed the claim of Aguirre, saying those arrested were on site when the raid happened. But he said maybe some who escaped belongs to the next shift and didn't go to work.

"I think the Secretary of Justice means is during the conduct of operation, there is shifting of employees. Maybe the next shift didn't come," he said when asked by Senator Richard Gordon. Ella Dionisio/DMS