While the Philippines has already rejected China’s demands urging them to ban all online gambling in the country, Manila’s top diplomat in Beijing has strongly turned down China’s calls once again.
Ambassador Jose Santiago Sta. said that his country cannot be dictated by China.
“They can’t dictate on us. Those are sovereign decisions … that is where we stand,” Romana said at a press briefing. “He (Duterte) will say it’s legal in the Philippines.
“The key is for the President to be ready to explain. And it will have an economic impact on us, so if we are to do it, we want a soft landing.”
The statement came just before the meeting of President Duterte with China’s premier Xi Jinping.
“We don’t want a drastic impact that will adversely affect our economy,” Santiago said. “As a matter of fact, we are already trying it. We’re trying to regulate, to tighten the screws, so to speak, and to monitor.
“Both are interested to crack down on this, so that’s an area of commonality. The difference is that in China, gambling, whether online or offline, is illegal. In the Philippines, it is legal.”
After Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) suspended the acceptance of fresh applications for Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos) Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said in a press briefing in Beijing: “We have also taken note of the Philippine government’s announcement and appreciates it. We hope the Philippines will go further and ban all online gambling.”