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HomeNewsGuo in hot water, denies involvement in raided POGO

Guo in hot water, denies involvement in raided POGO

BAMBAN, Tarlac (April 10, 2024) — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) task force has started looking at the possible involvement of some local government officials in illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO).

According to DILG, the task force will be led by six lawyers and an engineer who will handle the investigation into the conduct of local officials. The Task Force is led by Benjamin Zabala Jr of the DILG’s Internal Audit Service.

DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos said that “any possible administrative misconduct or neglect by LGU officials with respect to their responsibilities under the Local Government Code and related laws in relation to the alleged illegal POGO operations.”

POGO RAID, AGAIN

Bamban Mayor Alice Guo was put in the spotlight again on March 13 after authorities led by the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission and police and military operatives raided Zun Yuan Technology’s premises in Barangay Anupul here and rescued 868 POGO workers – 371 Filipinos and 497 foreign nationals. The raid was based on two court-issued search warrants for alleged human trafficking and serious illegal detention of the POGO workers.

This is the second raid on the same property in less than 14 months with links to Guo.

On Feb. 1, 2023, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Central Luzon (CIDG3) swooped down on the same property then operated by Hongsheng Gaming Technology Inc. – previously linked to Guo – to serve the warrant against the company for allegedly operating cryptocurrency investment scams. The CIDG3 raid netted 850 individuals – 500 Filipinos and 350 foreign nationals.

SENATOR CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION ON GUO

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian had earlier asked the DILG to “look closely into the matter” after Guo’s name appeared in the statement of account from the Tarlac II Electric Cooperative and the registration documents of a Ford Expedition found on the Zun Yuan Technology’s premises.

“These damning pieces of evidence that Mayor Guo might be involved in the operation of this POGO facility that is now implicated in various criminal activities. The DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) should look closely into the matter,” Gathchalian said.

AFTER LONG SILENCE, GUO FINALLY SPEAKS UP

In a TV interview, Guo said that she buys and sells cars.

“Nag bu-buy-and-sell din po ako ng kotse, however po, hindi rin po ako aware na hindi rin po nila na-transfer (car registration),” she said.

“Kay Senator po…kakampi nya ako at gusto ko na rin po i-express po ang sarili ko. As long as ako po ang mayor po dito sa bayan po ng Bamban, I will no longer allow any POGO operation dito sa bayan po ng Bamban.

In a statement of Guo released only on Monday, she said that she does not tolerate criminal activities and asked her constituents not to be hasty in judging her.

“Nevertheless, I deny in the strongest terms all of these allegations of criminal conduct, or at least, allegations that I have somehow aided and abetted the supposedly illegal acts of Zun Yuan Technology,” the lady mayor said.

“I request the people of Bamban to not be so quick to judge and to not let themselves be swayed by unproven, unfounded, and unjust allegations made against me,” Guo pleaded.

GUO WAS INVOLVED IN POGO

On Sept. 16, 2020, the Sangguniang Bayan of Bamban enacted a resolution “interposing no objection” for Hongsheng to operate in the municipality. The document can be found here.

Resolution No. 185, Series of 2020 titled — “A Resolution interposing no objection to the application of Ms. Alice Guo for franchise/license/permit of Hongsheng Gaming Technology, Inc. to national and local government agencies, offices and bureaus, for the company’s intention to establish, operate and manage a business amusement, entertainment, recreation and gaming activities in Barangay Anupul, this municipality, provided that the gaming activities conducted therein shall be exclusive only to their members and their community.”

The resolution was enacted after then-Mayor Jose Antonio Feliciano requested the local council enact a resolution “interposing no objection” to the application for franchise/license/permit to Ms Alice Guo – now Mayor – to operate in the municipality.

Victor de Guzman
Victor de Guzman
Victor is a native of Concepcion, Tarlac. His passion in life - aside from writing - is chasing after whatever the world presents to him, girls included. He is into rare coins and stamp collecting. You will see him leafing through stacks of books in any second hand bookshop.
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