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Monday, July 22, 2024

PAOCC to file non-bailable charges vs. Bamban mayor

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The Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission said it will file non-bailable criminal charges against Bamban Mayor Alice Guo next week for her part in suspected illegal POGO activities.

“There are quite a few criminal charges we could bring against the mayor of Bamban. What we discussed last night was that we should start with the most serious and non-bailable charges first, and then deal with the other charges later on,” PAOCC spokesperson Winston John Casio said on Saturday.

He said an interagency council, including the Department of Justice and the Philippine National Police, will meet Tuesday to finalize charges against the key figures of the POGO firm Zun Yuan Technology Incorporated in Bamban.

Guo is under Senate investigation for her alleged involvement with Zun Yuan, which was raided by police and military in March for suspected illegal activities at the Baofu Land Development Inc. compound behind Bamban Municipal Hall in Tarlac.

Casio said Guo’s name and signature appeared on numerous documents recovered from the POGO hub, but declined to give specifics.

As this developed, PAOCC said the document found in Lucky South 99, another raided POGO hub in Porac, Pampanga that bore the name of former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque was “innocent.”

“The document is not of suspicious criminal nature. We know that former secretary Roque is the lawyer of the Whirlwind Corporation, the lessor of Lucky South 99. So, how the document found itself there is not something that I personally looked at as something suspicious,” Casio said.

He said they are now conducting an inventory after searching the 46 buildings within the Lucky South 99 Compound.

As this developed, House Assistant Minority Leader Arlene Brosas called on her colleagues to pass a measure banning POGOs.

“The negative impacts of POGOs far outweigh any potential benefits. With its influx in recent years, a number of crimes have already been recorded which was evident in the previous raids by various agencies. It is even more disturbing that such operations are banned in China, yet are fully operational and are taking advantage of our laws,” she said.

“It is alarming that crimes such as rape, prostitution, human trafficking, illegal detention, and the likes are linked to these operations. We fully condemn these activities as these jeopardize the public safety and well-being of the people,” she added.

Editor’s Note: This is an updated article. Originally posted with the headline: “Gov’t to file non-bailable criminal charges vs Alice Guo next week — PAOCC”

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