Criminal raps vs Guo to be filed this week – PAOCC

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star
Criminal raps vs Guo to be filed this week � PAOCC
In this Facebook post on May 30, 2024 shows Mayor Alice Guo meeting the winners and participants of the Bamban Battle of the Bands Poster Making Contest.
Facebook / Mayor Alice Leal Guo

MANILA, Philippines — With strong evidence to prove her direct connection with an illegal Philippine offshore gaming operator (POGO) hub in Tarlac’s Bamban town, the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) is set to file criminal complaints against suspended mayor Alice Guo and other personalities.

The charges will be filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday and would detail Guo’s alleged involvement in Zun Yuan Technology Inc. – a POGO hub located at the Baofu compound behind the Bamban municipal hall, which was raided in March after reports of human trafficking and other illegal activities.

Asked what are the cases they intend to file, PAOCC spokesman Winston John Casio said: “The cases must be related to the search warrant. The search warrant was for human trafficking.”

Casio said at a news forum in Quezon City yesterday that the complaint, apart from Guo, would also include the POGO firm’s incorporators and several other people whom he did not identify.

Officials from the PAOCC and other government agencies will meet on Tuesday to decide on the cases to be filed against Guo and other individuals, which Casio said are serious and non-bailable offenses.

The Office of the Ombudsman earlier slapped Guo and two local government officials with a six-month preventive suspension while an investigation is underway to determine their culpability over the illegal activities in the POGO hub.

Casio asserted Guo’s connection with Zun Yuan could not be denied as they have secured documents linking her to the POGO hub, including an officially authenticated document bearing her signature.

“The liability of the current mayor of Bamban is on paper. It’s not a matter of conjecture anymore,” Casio said.

Meanwhile, the Pampanga Provincial Board conducted a committee hearing on the recent raid on a POGO compound in Porac town.

Friday’s hearing – led by Third District Board Member Ananias Canlas and attended by Porac Mayor Jaime Capil and other town officials – is aimed at determining how the POGO facility was able to operate despite existing government procedures and regulations.

The Board scrutinized the procedures conducted by the local government unit to determine if the facility was compliant with government regulations.

Both Canlas and Pampanga Vice Governor Lilia Pineda lamented that the issue had greatly damaged the reputation of local officials and the province.

Capil said during the hearing that local officials have done their responsibilities, adding that he was strict in the issuance of permits to businesses included in the “negative list” of the local fire bureau.

He told the Board that they conducted a facility inspection on May 3, but were only allowed to enter the holding area and prevented from entering the main compound.

The Provincial Board is set to conduct more hearings on the issue. — Ric Sapnu

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