Suspended mayor can be a witness ‘to reduce her culpability’- Philippine senator

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian explained that the cases stemmed from the Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo's alleged involvement with the Philippine offshore gaming operations in her town and the supposed falsification of public records.

Gabriel Pabico Lalu

Gabriel Pabico Lalu

Philippine Daily Inquirer



July 3, 2024

MANILA — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has urged suspended Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo to divulge details about the masterminds of Philippine offshore gaming operations (Pogos).

He believes this act may “reduce her culpability.”

Gatchalian on Tuesday said that Guo, whose real identity is said to be Chinese Guo Hua Ping, should reveal crucial information about the gaming operations since she will face multiple charges.

The senator explained that the cases stemmed from her alleged involvement with the Pogo in her town and the supposed falsification of public records.

“I urge Alice Guo to come forward and cooperate with authorities and expose the main players of illegal and criminal offshore gaming operations,” Gatchalian said in a statement.

“To reduce her culpability, she can reveal everything she knows about the operations of both the Bamban Pogo and the Porac Pogo, as the two are interconnected,” he noted.

“Ngayon at maliwanag na ang tunay niyang pagkakakilanlan, patong-patong na kaso ang maaaring isampa laban sa kanya dahil sa kanyang pagsisinungaling at panlilinlang, kaya mas mainam na magsalita na siya,” he suggested.

(Now that her true identity is clear, layers of cases can be filed against her because she lied and deceived the public, so it would be better if she would already speak up.)

Guo has been on the hot seat after a Senate investigation revealed her alleged links to the Bamban Pogo, which was raided last March 13.

Operatives from various government agencies rescued 371 Filipinos and 497 foreigners from Pogo, which was allegedly involved in human trafficking.

Most of the Pogo workers were Chinese.

Last May 31, the Office of the Ombudsman ordered Guo and two other Bamban town officials to be preventively suspended without pay while an investigation into their alleged wrongdoing is ongoing.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) moved to suspend Guo, citing the local chief executive’s reported link to a Pogo to which she gave a business permit.

DILG claimed Guo had business interests in Baofu Land Development Inc., the compound in Bamban, Tarlac, where the raided Pogo is located.

Baofu, as represented by Guo, who was president of the company, purchased eight parcels of land in Bamban last February 2019.

Guo claims to have divested ownership of Baofu.

But the DILG believes the amount she divested it for — P2.5 million — was “grossly incongruent to her investment on Baufo, which is approximately eight hectares of land.”

Aside from the administrative raps at the Ombudsman, Guo will also face human trafficking complaints filed by the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission.

For its part, the Office of the Solicitor General is looking at filing a quo warranto case against her after the National Bureau of Investigation said Guo’s fingerprint matched that of Guo Hua Ping.

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