Philippine court orders release of 4 Chinese workers arrested in POGO raid

Other workers remain in detention.
Other workers remain in detention.

The Court of Appeals has ruled that the police unlawfully detained the workers.

The Philippines.- The Court of Appeals (CA) has ordered the immediate release of four Chinese workers who were arrested during a raid on a gambling operator in Las Piñas City. Associate justice Rex Pascual instructed the National Capital Region Police Office and the Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Cybercrime Group to release Ang Chin Keong, Choo Jun Cheng, Choo Wei Jazz, and Edy.

The four workers had presented a habeas corpus petition contending that they were unlawfully detained. Some 2,714 people were rescued in the raid, including 1,534 identified as Filipinos and foreign workers from different parts of Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

The Chinese workers raised allegations that they were unjustly confined and faced constrained living conditions with an absence of essential resources such as running water and food rations. Despite claims by the PNP that their detention was justified as protective custody in the context of curbing potential human trafficking, the CA found no legal basis for continued detention.

The CA said the PNP failed to obtain the consent of the workers for custody and repatriation measures. Other foreigners detained remain in custody at the compound pending repatriation.

See also: Filipino senators urge president to ban online gambling

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