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Guo facing isolation from own party

TARLAC CITY, Tarlac (May 15, 2024) — Embattled Bamban Mayor Alice Guo is facing growing reproof from the Senate, Commission on Elections (COMELEC), and her own political party.

In what was a veiled rebuke from the Provincial Government of Tarlac, the Facebook post from the provincial government said that it “denounces any and all forms of illegal online gambling. The Province’s stance on the matter remains steadfast, and has always been consistent.”

In further added that “as early as 2021, the Province, in Sangguniang Panlalawigan Resolution No. 10 -2021 issued January 14, 2021, has already clearly condemned reported illegal offshore online gambling activities reported in the Municipality of Bamban, Tarlac.”

Tarlac Information Officer Arvin Cabalu they were also not familiar with the background of Guo.

Despite this claim from Cabalu, Gov. Susan Yap presided over the oathtaking of Guo as a member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition in the provincial capitol on August 22, 2023. The swearing-in of the Bamban mayor was also attended by Tarlac 3rd Congressional District Representative Noel “Bong” Rivera.

Cabalu also denied that the provincial government has any knowledge of the existence of a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) hub in Bamban town.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) issued a provisional license to Zun Yuan Technology, a POGO hub just behind the municipal hall of Bamban, Tarlac, despite being flagged as “high risk” by the gaming agency itself.

According to Senator Win Gatchalian, those classified as high-risk should not be given any gaming license.

Zun Yuan also failed to meet the PAGCOR requirement for an authorized capital stock (ACS) of at least P100 million with a paid-up capital stock of at least P25 million.

Senators Gatchalian and Risa Hontiveros suspect Guo of ties to POGO firms that were raided in Bamban in February 2023 and March 2024.

These firms, Zun Yuan Technology Incorporated and Hong Sheng Gaming Technology Incorporated – allegedly the same company under a different name – are suspected of illegal activities. Intelligence reports even suggested the presence of individuals involved in cybercrimes and surveillance at the POGO compound.

Guo denies any involvement and claims she already sold the property where the POGO was located.

The senators also questioned her Filipino citizenship after inconsistencies in Guo’s documents and testimony have raised doubts about her eligibility to hold office. Senators point to discrepancies between her birth certificate listing her father as Filipino and business records listing him as Chinese. There are also questions about her background and educational qualifications.

Meanwhile, COMELEC chairman George Garcia said that Guo’s qualifications as an elected official can be questioned in court.

The COMELEC’s jurisdiction over one candidate will only run from one’s filing of his or her Certificate of Candidacy up to the proclamation. After that, a court will handle any petition or case against any proclaimed candidate.

“Halimbawa po, yung isang mayor ay nanalo. May issue pala sa kanya tungkol sa citizenship, hindi naman nakita ng kahit sino. Yan po ay pupwede namang ma-kwestyon pagkatapos ng proklamasyon, kahit siya ay nanunungkulan na, sa pamamagitan ng Petition for Quo Warranto,” Garcia explained.

The petition, he said, can be filed in any regional trial court.

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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