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Plot thickens: Guo ‘bridge’ between POGO, syndicates

Gatchalian: Info revealed in executive session

SEN. Sherwin Gatchalian yesterday said that intelligence agencies have confirmed that Mayor Alice Guo of Bamban, Tarlac acted as the bridge or enabler in the supposed “deep connection” of the raided Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) hub raided last March 13 with politicians, law enforcement agencies, and local crime syndicates.

Gatchalian said the information was revealed when the Committee on Women chaired by Senate deputy minority leader Risa Hontiveros held an executive session with the intelligence agencies, law enforcement agencies, the Anti-Money Laundering Council, and other relevant agencies to get updates on the agencies’ ongoing investigation on the Bamban POGO hub.

He said the reports made during the executive session were limited only to the findings of the respective agencies on the Bamban POGO center.

He said what he disclosed was the sum mary of the reports they received from the resource persons who attended the executive session, adding he is not allowed to divulge details of each report.

He said the executive session had two parts – the first on the reports of intelligence agencies and the second on the report of other government agencies, including the Anti-Money Laundering Council.

Without providing details since the information came from the executive session, Gatchalian said it has been established by the intelligence agencies that Guo reportedly acted as the enabler who allowed the entry of the POGO hub in Bamban, Tarlac.

Guo’s active participation reportedly came to light when the Hong Sheng Gaming Technology Inc. was established in a lot owned by Baofu Land Development Inc. in which the mayor had a 50 percent stake.

Hong Sheng was raided in February 2023 due to alleged fraudulent cryptocurrency operations. Zuan Yuan Technologies Inc. set up another POGO firm in the same lot where Hong Sheng was located.

Authorities raided Zun Yuan after a Vietnamese worker escaped from the POGO hub and reported the alleged human trafficking and serious illegal detention in the gambling center. It was later discovered the POGO hub was also engaged in scamming activities and alleged hacking of