Death of handcuffed Chinese national alarms Palace

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Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo

Malacañang on Sunday called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to look ‘seriously’ into a handcuffed Chinese national who died after falling from the sixth floor of his office building in Pamplona Dos, Las Piñas City last Friday, 9 August.

“We express alarm on the death of a handcuffed Chinese national who reportedly died after escaping from a sixth-floor window and falling from the building,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

The Chinese national, identified as Yang Kang, was allegedly being held prisoner by his employer. Police have yet to identify the employer but reports said authorities are already tracking him down.

“We ask the Philippine National Police, which is seriously looking into the matter, including tracking down the supervisor of the victim who allegedly made the former a prisoner, to treat the case with dispatch,” Panelo said.

He said the Palace is concerned with growing reports that foreign workers in the country are being subjected to coercion, illegal detention and other violations of law even by their own countrymen while in the Philippines.

“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,” Panelo said.

Panelo urged nationals from other countries, especially the Chinese workers, to report to the authorities any act performed by their employers in violation of any law.

“No one is exempted from the strict enforcement of our laws of the land,” said Panelo, also Chief Presidential Legal Counsel.

Amid the increasing the number of Chinese nationals working in Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGOs), Panelo earlier called on the foreign nationals to file formal complaints “so that this particular concern will be raised in the appropriate agencies of the government so we can properly respond”.

“We will not allow any violation of their rights as visitors or working nationals in this country. We certainly have the Constitution to guide government authorities in dealing with them. We have always to enforce the law,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing last week.

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