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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Senators hail PAOCC for taking legal action vs Guo, others involved in raided POGOs

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Senators Risa Hontiveros and Sherwin Gatchalian welcomed on Friday the cases filed by the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) against suspended Bamban Mayor Alice Guo and other persons implicated in illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGOs).

Hontiveros acknowledged the critical efforts of the PAOCC and the Department of Justice -Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (DOJ-IACAT) in conducting high-profile raids on POGO hubs in Bamban, Tarlac and Porac, Pampanga.

These operations have led to the rescue of numerous victims, both Filipino and foreign nationals.

As the author and sponsor of the Expanded Trafficking in Persons Act, Hontiveros is pleased to see the law taking effect in terms of protecting the vulnerable and holding those in positions of power to account.

Hontiveros chairs the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality, which has been investigating Guo on various issues. She called on the embattled mayor to come clean and stop claiming innocence.

Commenting on the latest development, Gatchalian raised concerns about Guo possibly leaving the country to evade ongoing investigations. He considered her a “flight risk,” especially if she holds a Chinese passport—an insinuation that Guo and her legal team recently denied.

According to IACAT chairperson and Justice Undersecretary Nicholas Ty, the DOJ is now processing the Immigration Lookout Bulletin against Guo, which may be issued next week.

“Anyone charged with a crime is a flight risk, especially if he they have resources to go abroad. Hopefully, she will not leave as her representatives said that he wants to face the allegations against her,” the IACAT official noted.

Apart from this, Ty said Guo cannot travel without a travel authority as a public official.

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