Joint operatives over the weekend rescued 16 Thai nationals allegedly doing forced labor for a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) inside the Clark Freeport Zone.
Mabalacat police chief Lt. Col. Abraham Abayari, in a report to acting police provincial director Col. Alvin Consolacion, identified the rescued Thai nationals as Hasim Komonshanok, Iamphon Anucha, Mathsee Thaweeablamlerd, Khamwisu Darunee, Bunmachu Attaphon, Winai Noito, Sompong Sukyong, Wilaiporn Khasun, Sungnum Pannipa, Khiavigit Kittipong, Yuwamongkol Therapon, Worapattananan Panupong, Chaikla Natthamut, Rachalai Mattana, Siriwan Panta and Jiang Jun.
Members of the Mabalacat City Police Station, Southern Police District – Special Operations Unit, Regional Special Operations Group of the National Capital Region Police Office and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group launched a rescue operation at Fontana inside the Clark Freeport.
The rescue stemmed from a complaint by Minister Counsellor Kriteya Lepkao of the Royal Thai Embassy in Manila, stating they received a report that Thai nationals were being forced to work beyond their work hours but were not receiving overtime pay from their employer.
The rescued Thai nationals, who claimed that their passports were being held at Pearl Plaza in Manila, were turned over to the Thai Embassy.
According to the police report, the rescued employees will not file charges against their employer as they would prefer to immediately return home to Thailand.