PAOCC to File Serious Non-Bailable Charges Against Bamban Mayor Alice Guo

The Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) announced on Saturday its intention to file “serious” and “non-bailable criminal charges” against Bamban town Mayor Alice Guo. This decision follows the discovery of evidence implicating Guo in the illegal operations of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) within her jurisdiction.

Alice Gou

An inter-agency body is scheduled to convene next week to finalize the charges against Guo, whose identity and citizenship are also under scrutiny, according to PAOCC spokesperson Winston John Casio. Casio emphasized the substantial evidence gathered, noting, “Her name and her signature are in so many documents. Two nights ago, we were able to obtain an official document bearing her signature.”

Casio highlighted the seriousness of the charges, stating, “Our discussion last night focused on filing the most serious and non-bailable charges.” The case is expected to be formally filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) on June 21. While Casio refrained from disclosing specific details about the charges, he indicated that multiple individuals could face criminal cases related to the Bamban case.

Earlier PAOCC raids and Senate investigations revealed that Guo had previously engaged in business with Chinese firms involved in POGO operations in Bamban. These operations had been running without the necessary government permits. The PAOCC is also investigating potential connections between illegal POGO activities in Bamban, Tarlac, and Porac, Pampanga.

Casio remained tight-lipped when asked if the PAOCC would recommend a complete ban on POGOs in the Philippines. However, he did underscore the role of corrupt public officials in enabling such large-scale illegal activities. “Crimes of this magnitude can only happen if there are co-opted public officers who look the other way or do not perform their functions properly,” Casio noted. He added that the PAOCC would make recommendations, but these would be exclusively for the President’s consideration.

The investigation into Mayor Guo’s alleged involvement in illegal POGO operations marks a significant step in the PAOCC’s ongoing efforts to combat organized crime and corruption in the Philippines. The upcoming inter-agency meeting and subsequent filing of charges will be closely watched as part of broader efforts to ensure accountability and uphold the rule of law.

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