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Press Release - Documents reveal possible links of Bamban Mayor to Tarlac-based POGO -Gatchalian

Documents obtained by the Office of Senator Win Gatchalian have raised suspicions regarding the involvement of Bamban Mayor Alice Guo in activities related to the operation of the Tarlac-based Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO), now termed as Internet Gaming Licensee (IGL), which was raided by authorities last March 13 due to complaints of human trafficking and serious illegal detention.

The first document is a Sangguniang Bayan Resolution in September 2020 containing the council's approval of the application made by then private citizen Guo for a license to operate Hongsheng Gaming Technology, Inc. In February 2023, Hongsheng was raided, and the same compound has since been established as Zun Yuan Technology, Inc., the company that was just raided this month.

Another document is a list of vehicles found inside the premises of Zun Yuan Tech. Based on the verification made with the Land Transportation Office (LTO), one of the vehicles, a Ford Expedition EL with plate number CAT 6574, is registered under Guo's name.

Further, a statement of account issued to Guo by Tarlac II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (TARELCO II) was also found inside the premises of Zuan Yuan. The statement of account, which appears to be an electricity bill amounting to P15.111 million, covers the period between September 2023 to February 2024.

The senator emphasized that it is imperative for the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to thoroughly investigate the potential culpability of Mayor Guo.

"These are 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 should look closely into the matter," Gatchalian said.

A former mayor himself, Gatchalian emphasized that local government executives should be working to prevent criminalities in their respective jurisdiction and should not involve themselves in dubious businesses such as the POGOs.

The chairperson of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, Gatchalian has filed a resolution to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the alleged human trafficking, serious illegal detention, and physical abuse and torture