Manila: The safety of foreign workers in the Philippines has been brought under scrutiny following the death of a Chinese worker.
According to Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr, the Philippines is compelled to allow a Chinese investigation into last Friday’s death of Yang Kang, a Chinese national working for an offshore gaming firm.
“When a foreign national is killed on our soil, we are obliged to allow the foreign national’s state to send its own investigators to solve the crime we seem unable to. That is international practice,” he said.
Kang was an employee of a business process outsourcing firm, reportedly an online casino, operating in Las Pinas, Metro Manila. He died after falling from the sixth floor of a building.
While foreigners committing suicide by jumping from buildings is not uncommon in the Philippines, authorities said that the victim’s hands were bound by a handcuff, leading local investigators to believe there was foul play.
Las Pinas police said it was Kang’s employer who had him handcuffed due to the latter’s debts.
The Chinese Embassy sought the attention of the Philippine government as there had been reports that a number of Chinese nationals working in Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) are running into trouble.
Gambling is illegal in China and Philippine businesses, in a bid to cash in on the gaming interests of mainland Chinese people, have opened up POGOs. But incidents like the death of Kang, could pose a concern for the two countries.
Likewise, Locsin also expressed concern over the potential backlash on Philippine workers in China if the matter is not properly handled.
“It makes no difference if a Chinese national is the killer. Failure to bring the killer to justice — like failure to off the cops who kidnapped a Korean, strangled and cremated him, flushed his ashes in a toilet at the Philippine National Headquarters in Camp Crame then demanded ransom from unwitting widow, is a sign of a failed state,” he said.
Locsin was referring to the killing in 2016 of South Korean executive Jee Ick-joo who was kidnapped by a syndicate that included police officers.
It had been reported that a South Korean loan shark syndicate working in cahoots with corrupt policemen was behind Jee’s killing.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said on Monday that the Philippines will not tolerate any form of abuse inflicted on a foreigner.
“We need to put a stop to these illegal acts. We will not allow nor tolerate any kind of abuse inflicted on any foreigner whether sojourning or working in this country, whether done by their fellow nationals or by our own citizens,” he said.